Happy Earth Day!

Theme song for this post: Mother Nature’s Son by the Beatles. 

Growing up in the Natural State (AR) has taught me a lot of things. For example, tea must always be cold and sweet; hogs are better than longhorns; say “please,” and “thank you;” and, most importantly, nature is powerful and beautiful. Because Arkansas is in the “Tornado Alley” region of the United States, tornadoes are as frequent as people wearing camouflage in public. The particular city that I am from in Arkansas is on a very large river that is very prone to flooding in the springtime, which means that those people that live in floodplains almost always have to renovate their basement.

The best part about living in Arkansas, though, is the beauty of it all. The southern plains are miles of farmland with cotton and rice blowing in the wind. The northwest, though, is consumed by the rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains, creating some of the most beautiful scenery this side of the Mississippi River. Naturally, native Arkansawyers are often found outside, either hiking or hunting, canoeing or climbing.

Being surrounded by all of this natural beauty makes it hard for me to understand how people don’t believe in a Creator. I don’t get how people think that all of this:

20160709_084646

…. just created itself.  (This picture was taken of the Norfolk River near Norfolk, AR).

I can’t help but recall the words of Psalm 104:

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty. (vs 1)

How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small. (vs 24-25)

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke. (vs 31-32)

As a follower of Christ, I am reminded of the beauty of God’s creation everyday. Consequently, everyday is Earth Day for me! I revere in God’s awesome creation and I try with all my being to take care of it.

I challenge you, then, if you are also a Christ-follower, to treat the Earth with the respect it deserves. Adam Hamilton says it this way in his book Creed: What Christians Believe and Why:

“Belief in God also has huge implications for our care of creation. If God created all things, and the earth belongs to God, then we are stewards of it. Many think of Christian discipleship and spirituality as reading the Bible and praying, and these are important; but if this earth really belongs to God, then caring for it – tending God’s garden – is an act of discipleship and a responsibility of every human being. When you leave a room, turning off the lights is an act of faithfulness and Christian discipleship. So, too, is turning up the thermostat, recycling, and thinking about fuel economy when you buy your next car. Conversely, damaging the earth or wasting its resources is an affront to the Creator. Belief in God should lead us to caring for God’s creation.”

So celebrate Earth Day a little everyday. Start recycling. Walk those few blocks instead of driving. Plant a couple trees. Change to energy efficient light bulbs.

But most importantly, thank God for his beautiful creation everyday.

Later, Earth-lovers.

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