Here you can find selected material from issues of Trinity Memorial Church's monthly newsletter, the Trinity Times
Stewardship of our Earth's Resources
kwpk We do have a unique ability to take something as a given. When we turn on a faucet, water will flow; when we flick a switch, lights will turn on; when we adjust a thermostat, the air inside our houses will turn warmer or maybe even cooler; when we pull that tiny computer, few of us ever actually use for phone calls, out of our pocket, we expect it to deliver instantaneously a world of news and entertainment to us.
Yet, it wasn’t always so - a great-aunt of mine described her father, after having a well drilled in their home’s backyard, how he would stand there, every day, and carefully and deliberately pump up water into buckets or other containers, as if doing so was a sacred act. My great aunt’s older brother, my father’s father, would later, in the fall, lead his family into their house’s basement, where a huge coal fired furnace stood, and light the fire for the season; for him, too, this was an event to celebrate and observe with reverence. We don’t have much of a record how our brave ancestors reacted to the arrival of electricity and electric lights, but Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, the matriarch of the family in PBS’s Downton Abbey’s first season is probably not far off the mark: “First electricity, now telephones, sometimes I feel as if I were living in an HG Wells novel. But the young are all so calm about change, aren’t they?”
We enjoy these luxuries as if they were our God-given rights, and it’s easy to forget that we’re in a privileged minority - certainly on a historical scale, as so many generations of our ancestors had to make it through life without any of these modern conveniences; but perhaps more importantly, in today’s world, much of the world still lacks access to one or the other of these modern conveniences, and often lacks access to more than one, if not all of them..
So, what are we to do: it’s probably a good start to teach our children, or grandchildren, to turn off the lights, the TV, and maybe a radio, when they leave a room. Just like our parents tried to teach us. Young children are keen observers, and they will pick up quickly if our actions don’t match our instructions to them - so, not only should we teach them, but set the example for them to follow.
Perhaps even more importantly, we could teach our children that, when we use fossil fuels, the sacred web of life extends from millions of years back to our days; we could perhaps teach them that it stretches beyond the boundaries of the earth, as so much energy on this our planet home derives from sunlight - it nourished the world which decomposed into fossil fuels, as it nourishes the meadows, the orchards, the fields which sustain us today; and we’re becoming much better at capturing the sun’s light and energy to directly generate the electricity, without which the quality our daily lives might be hard to imagine.
Even if we are struggling with being good stewards of this our home planet, starting with a small step here, another small step there, eventually we will find ourselves on an ongoing journey to leave the world to the next generation, and the generation after this, in a shape which affirms the connectedness of all life, across time and space - a place in which living and being part of God’s creation is not merely a struggle of survival, but a joy - rejoicing in the Lord always!