I am by no means a worshiper of the Earth; I am a worshiper of God. The God who chose to give life, and who gave us the unparalleled task of this beautiful world’s upkeep . I also believe the following and this is where I get preachy- God called us to care for the Earth from the beginning of time. Although I believe that this is not our eternal home, I do not believe he gave us permission to treat it like some rock stars treat a hotel room. I do not believe that he ever intended us to be as disposable (either in mindset or consumerism) as we are. I do not feel that he ever intended us to get so weighed down by material things that we cannot enjoy life because of the physical chaos that crowds our daily environment.
On the other hand, I don’t believe he created us to become so absorbed with fighting the injustice of a poorly treated environment that we do not have time to maintain our relationships. He never wanted us to feel so constrained by the task of all we need to do for our home planet that our personal lives suffer. Nor did He ever intend that we be so ridden with guilt over past lack of environmental caretaking that we have low or no self-esteem.
A balance must be maintained and it is my hope that the following 5 simple ways to extend grace give all of us a means of beginning to do so and the chords of a restorative harmony.
- One more use. I’m trying to find one more use for things that would normally be recycled or thrown away. For those who follow me via social media, I’m keeping track of these with the hashtag of you guessed it, #onemoreuse. Doing this extends grace in somewhat of a chain reaction. You are not only helping alleviate landfills, but are also causing yourself to have a mindset to see value in things normally considered disposable. This will cause you to take a serious second look at not only physical items, but relationships, conversations, and I believe all other interactions as well.
- Thank your sanitation staff. Garbage personnel, janitors, and recycling personnel are the community helpers no one wants to be. Remember them with cards and gifts at the holidays and especially for no special occasion whatsoever. They need to know they are appreciated.
- If you make too much food, give some away. Your elderly neighbor or those starving college nephews of yours would greatly appreciate it. Maybe even invite them over to share the extras. Break bread together. Laugh. Converse. Relate. This life is short people. Too short to be in holed up in your house with your blinds closed. Before our Lord went to die on the cross, He took time to eat with those He loved.
- Buy products that last and lend them out to those you trust. As a society, we’ve lost the art of borrowing and are missing another key part of fellowship here. There is something very holy about the giving and taking of a prized item, even temporarily. Be gracious in lending and in borrowing. A great website for long-lasting items is buymeonce.com. I am not a paid representative of this site. I just like their items.
- Can’t buy local? Splurge local. Cut down on shipping costs, a greater carbon footprint, and make some possible lifelong connections all by occasionally buying local. Farmer’s Markets, Bazaars, and Small Business Saturday are all excellent opportunities to make these connections.
Something I’ve been thinking of a great deal lately is how God said Heaven is his throne, but Earth is his footstool. (Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49) God likes it here. He rests here, puts His feet up and enjoys watching us as a parent enjoys watching their children at play. I don’t want to fill his footstool up with a bunch of rotting garbage, do you? Thanks for reading and considering. I welcome all questions, compliments, and constructive critiques.