Summary: This message looks at greed and the effect it has on the believer and his enviroment
Read book to the end of “There is no one on earth who would buy that fool Thneed.” How many of you have read the Lorax? Anybody catch the movie yet? For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story of the Lorax, he continues to beg the Once-ler to stop cutting down all of the Truffula Trees but his warnings are ignored due to the demand for his product, everyone wanted a Thneed. The Once-ler continues to build more factories, kind of like the rich man in the story who kept building more barns, and cut down more trees bringing in aunts and uncles and cousins to do all the work. Until eventually the story comes to its logical but sad conclusion when we pick up the story Read book from “And then I got Mad” to “I worried about it with all of my heart”
Kind of a dark story isn’t it? The Lorax was written by Dr. Seuss, or Theodor Geisel in 1971, the year I turned 11. Geisel stated that he made a point to not begin writing his stories with a moral in mind, he said that "kids can see a moral coming a mile off" And added that "there's an inherent moral in any story"
But even with that in mind many of the Dr. Seuss books expressed his views on any number of social and political issues. Perhaps these wouldn’t have been as popular for children if the title had of reflected the underlying moral. The Lorax would be entitled “The Importance of environmental awareness in industrialized society” The Butter Battle Book would be “The tragic futility of the Nuclear Arms Race” The Sneetches would be “Racists and other Stories”, The Grinch would be “The Psychological Implications of Holiday Motivated Materialism” while Green Eggs and Ham might be known as “How the Fear of the Unknown Hinders the Development of Informed opinions”
And so at first glance the Lorax is a story about the environment and there are any number of resources out there to use “The Lorax” in the school system to educate children on the environment. And yet I would suggest that what happened in the book was only a symptom of the disease that infected the Once-ler and his kin.
That the real issue in the book and at play in Canada today, the underlying cause of our destruction of the environment and might I be so bold as to add ultimately the underlying cause of the destruction of our souls is “Greed”, or as I like to call it “The cult of the next best thing.”
Seriously the Once-ler didn’t destroy the Truffula Trees and chase off the Brown Bar-ba-loots and The Humming Fish simply because he could, he destroyed them for a reason. And that reason was greed. He wanted to be able to make and sell more thneeds
In today’s world the reason we pollute and waste and don’t pick up after our selves isn’t simply because we want to it’s because we are greedy.
Either we can make money by raping the planet of its resources or we don’t object to poor environmental practices because it would cost too much of our money to do it better or it would cost too much of our money to do it right.
So as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest way to heat our homes and power our cars then that is what we will use. Not because we are in favour of the emissions they poduce but simply because the alternatives cost too much. If tomorrow I came out with a better fuel than gasoline, a fuel that gave off absolutely no emissions and could be burned in everyone’s automobile without any modifications people would be all over it. But what if it cost twice as much as gasoline?
I was a fisherman before I was a pastor and my father was a fisherman and his father was a fisherman and his father was a fisherman, I'm not sure about his father.
But I do know that the reason we have fishing quotas is because if it was up to the fisherman they would catch everything they could sell, until there was no more to sell. As long as there was one fish left to catch and everyone was afraid that someone else might catch it instead of them that fish wouldn't be safe.
That's human nature. If we were honest most of us would have to say that we struggle with greed in some form or another. We might call it ambition or determination or the desire to succeed, but really it is the desire to have more stuff.
As we look at what we have and what we want the question shouldn’t be who wants more stuff? Instead it should be “How Bad Do We Want More Stuff?”