CHRISTIANS CARE. Spring 2016 | Page 17

One of God ’ s Greatest Gifts

Through him all things were made ; without him nothing was made that has been made . ( John 1:3 , NIV )
I believe that the world is God ’ s creation . The idea of “ creation ” – the act of making something or bringing into existence – resonates with me because I enjoy making things . I always had a craft box and spent time cutting construction paper or making friendship bracelets . As much as I love the process of crafting jewellery or art , I love even more seeing the joy in people around . Seeing someone smile when a ring fits her well or hearing someone say he still has the card I designed for him makes my day . However , I am also protective when it comes to my creations . I want to bring joy to people but I also want my work to be appreciated for what it is worth . I will be honest , there is probably a lot of pride in that statement ( something I ’ ll have to address ) but I cannot deny that I feel strongly about my creations . I make things to be enjoyed and I am sad when it seems like my gift and the time I put into that gift are not appreciated .
I think this is how God feels about his gifts and the earth is one of his greatest gifts to us . This is at the heart of why I care about the environment and enjoy studying it . When I learn that biologists are confused about whether certain ecological processes are ordered or not , it points me towards how awesome God is . No one fully understands how the earth functions but it does so beautifully . Just think about New England seasons or coral reefs in the tropics or something as simple ( or as complicated ) as an insect searching for food in a flower . God put all these things in place as a part of his creation .
But ask the animals , and they will teach you , or the birds in the sky , and they will tell you ; or speak to the earth , and it will teach you , or let the fish in the sea inform you . Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this ? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind . ( Job 12:7-10 , NIV )
Going back to me giving gifts to my friends – God wants us to use the natural resources he has blessed us with . He made them for us to survive , to enjoy , to use to help others . Just like it gives me joy to see someone wear my jewellery , we bring God joy when we make use of his gift of the earth . This is why I ’ m not a proponent of the idea of keeping landscapes “ pure ” at the expense of humans . There are very serious problems in this world - unequal distribution of resources , lack of access to basic needs , exploitation of people in general and I ’ d be a fool to say that we should place the needs of people second to the needs of the environment . But here ’ s the catch - I do not think there should be a hierarchy . I wish we would not put humans against the environment because we cannot pretend that we do not rely on the earth ’ s natural resources and processes . We shouldn ’ t have to improve quality of life for everyone at the expense of the environment or vice versa . I believe they can and should be done simultaneously .
God wants us to use the natural resources he has blessed us with . He made them for us to survive , to enjoy , to use to help others .
I do not expect everyone to drop what they are doing and start studying environmental science or go picketing for a fossil-free world or even switch to reusable to-go containers at the dining hall . I do think that Christians who doubt that God has anything to say about how we interact with the world need to rethink that stance . Our planet is one of God ’ s greatest gifts to us – I challenge you to think about how good our existence would be without it . If we mistreat this gift , what does that say about our regard for God and how he blesses us ?
Keren Alfred is a sophomore concentrating in Environmental Science .
Chobe National Park Meagan Peters ’ 18