Stephen Chavez, Managing Editor, Adventist Review
Summary: The closest thing we have to God’s new creation is the one He’s already given us. It’s our responsibility to care for it.
The late Ray Kroc is famous for taking a single drive-in hamburger joint and turning it into McDonald’s, an international, multi-billion dollar business. One of the secrets of his success was his fanatical attention to detail. He insisted that each franchise meet the same standards of efficiency, cleanliness, and customer service.
He was so fixated on neatness that one of his employees once remarked, ?If you ever see a man in a suit out in the parking lot picking up trash, you’d better get out there and help him, because it’s probably Mr. Kroc.?
The way we care for our environment says something about our values. Because we worship a God of beauty and order, we try to reflect those values in our immediate surroundings. We make sure, for example, that our homes and churches reflect the beauty and order we appreciate in God.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where many care little for the environment. A walk along any well-traveled road reveals that a shocking number of people see the world as their own private trash can. Everything from bottles and cans to disposable diapers and fast food wrappers litter most major arteries. River banks and lake shores are fouled by discarded tires, appliances, and other refuse.
Christians don’t worship ?Mother Earth? as some new-agers do, but we do take seriously the fact that God gave men and women dominion over His creation. We owe it to Him and our ancestors to be good stewards. This stewardship includes, but is not limited to, properly disposing litter and waste, responsible use of the earth’s dwindling resources, and working to preserve the natural beauty of our mountains, shores, and deserts.
We know that when the ?day of the Lord? comes, ?the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare? (2P 3:10). But until then, the closest thing we have to God’s new creation is the one He’s already given us. It’s our responsibility to care for it.