Steve Irwin, the former Australian zookeeper, television personality, wildlife expert, environmentalist and conservationist once stated: “The single biggest threat to our planet is the destruction of habitat and along the way, loss of precious wildlife. We need to reach a balance where people, habitat, and wildlife can co-exist – if we don’t, everyone loses … one day.” Jeremiah 2:7 reminds us: “And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.”
Some selfish people in life tend to only think of themselves and consider nothing or no-one else. They firmly believe that they are the only important living being in the entire universe. Because of this regrettable factor, the environment can suffer harm and abuse to a great extent. These types of individuals are the ones most likely to cause fires and devastation in forests by carelessly discarding lit cigarette ends, lighted matches, or whatever takes their fancy. They have little respect for nature or for the beauty that exists in the world which has been provided by God for our pleasure. Numbers 35:33-34 confirms: “You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
Everyone needs to provide some sort of input to care for the environment. We all have a responsibility to balance the equation of give and take in life. The Lord provides food and green pastures, so that we may enjoy our surroundings and dwell in comfort. The importance and respect for the environment, in general, should be of paramount importance in everyone's mind. If that is not the case, the end result may well be the eventual annihilation of our planet. Ezekiel 34:18 asks us: “Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?”
We need to take action to save our planet before it is too late. We are the only generation that can do something about it, the next may be too late. However, we need the willpower and desire to redress it. Discarding litter and other matter irresponsibly not only displays disrespect for others, it shows God that we do not appreciate the beauty of His wonderful gift to us. Deuteronomy 11:12 states: “A land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” If we close our eyes and do nothing, then we only have ourselves to blame for the inevitable consequences, whatever they may be. Job 12:7-10 reminds us: “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
There was once a young caring vicar and his wife who had recently been appointed to a small parish in the suburbs of London, shortly after completing his term of curacy. He had always had an interest in nature and ecology from a very early age in life and felt that often, little was done from what was taken, to redress the balance as a whole.
The new vicar had managed to secure a few dedicated followers within his congregation, to join him and his wife in their venture of protecting the environment. They both agreed that while it was necessary to survive and thrive, much was taken from the fruits of our world, but very little was replenished to compensate for the losses. His prime belief and consideration in life was that God had made our beautiful world in which we live and provided everything that we could ever possibly need, but man’s inconsiderate and often avaricious nature generally threatened the environment as a whole and in some circumstances, brought the resources virtually to the point of eradication.
The foundation stone of his faith was primarily related to the Psalm of David (Psalm 23) and also Psalm 24:1-2 which states: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.”
To the dismay of his new Bishop, he had transformed the lovely mature back garden of the vicarage into a huge vegetable plot so that they were able to grow most of their own vegetables and also provide supplementary foods. They kept hens, much to the annoyance of their neighbours, who were woken daily by the dawn chorus of clucking. They generally adhered to an ovo-vegetarian diet wherever possible, in the hope of lowering the overall impact on the world’s environmental resources.
Together, with their small group of followers, they made regular trips into the countryside for rambles in the woods, to give thanks and appreciate the beauty of nature, combining a picnic for lunch and afterwards, collectively planting small baby trees and other important plants in areas lacking growth. They were always the first to volunteer in any locally organized clean up campaign to help the environment. They would regularly visit local rivers and streams with fishing nets to remove floating debris of plastic and other articles, carelessly thrown away by inconsiderate residents and visitors alike.
They would hold regular meetings in the vicarage to discuss global environmental issues that were topical and prevalent and to ascertain what, if anything, could be done by them, even if it be in the most fundamental of ways.
When the vicar made home visits to his parishioners, he would usually walk or cycle to the meeting in a bid to reduce the effects of carbon monoxide. While he was greatly respected and admired as a vicar, some people in the area scorned him for his ventures and ideas stating that the end result would have little effect on the environment as a whole. However, both he and his wife believed that any effort and contribution was better than none and if everybody in our earthly kingdom had the dedication to make the same small commitment, the overall effect would be quite significant.
Psalm 50:9-12 confirms: “ I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.”