Editor's note: Today, we welcome our newest contributor, Laura Nelson. Laura, the voice behind the blog Green for God, lives with her family in Texas. We're so happy that she'll be joining us here at CatholicMom.com each month. Welcome Laura! LMH
Does it ever seem to you that environmentalism has become its own religion? It does to me. “Green” is everywhere from the food you eat to the soap you buy to the way you pack your lunch. Don’t get me wrong. It’s wonderful to have so many convenient options that help us treat the earth more kindly. Personally, I’m a sucker for an eco-friendly product. My current obsession is with reusable containers that help me “green” up the lunches I pack for work or school.
On the whole, though, it seems that the environmentalists of today have forgotten what I think is a huge motivation for caring for and preserving the earth-God. You may be thinking, “What’s God got to do with it?” In a word, everything! After all, God is the Creator of the earth and all its living creatures. Don’t you think He’d want us to take care of what he made for us to use? I do. In fact, there are a few scripture passages that I think back me up on this.
- “It is good!” Genesis 1: 1-25 - This is what you might call the “goodness declaration.” In this passage God surveys all He’s created and declares each part of it to be good and pleasing to Him. If God thinks His Creation is good, who are we to argue?
- “Be fruitful” Genesis 1:26-28 -Here, God calls upon Adam and Eve to be caretakers of Creation. He puts them in dominion over the earth and all its creatures. Since we’re descendents of Adam and Eve, that job has been passed on to us. Maybe it’s not what you were hoping to inherit but, overall, it’s not a bad gig.
- “Two by two” Genesis 7:2-3 -Ahh, the story of Noah and the Great Flood. You’ve probably heard this story over and over again since you were a child. If you think about it, this story has a strong theme about caring for Creation. God chose Noah to help Him save part of His Creation. God didn’t need Noah’s help. He could’ve destroyed or saved Creation all on His own. He’s God, after all! But no, God chose to reinforce the legacy of Adam and Eve’s dominion over Creation by giving Noah the job of saving the animals and building the ark. God wants to work with us. That makes me feel kinda special. How about you?
- “Take care of the talents” Matthew 25:14-30 -This passage is the parable of the talents. Here, Jesus tells a story of a landlord who leaves three of his servants varying amounts of talents to take care of while he’s away. When he gets back, he’s thrilled that two of them have doubled their amount of talents through some wise investments. But, he is seriously ticked off at the third servant who buried his talent to keep it safe. God is the landowner. We are the servants. Creation is the talent that has been left in our care. We can’t just protect and preserve Creation. We’re called to nurture it and make it grow. In effect, we’re called to leave this earth better than we found it.
Do you see what I mean? When we connect our faith with caring for the earth, not only do we have a better understanding of why we should care for it, we also learn a bit about how we should care for it as well.
So, the next time you need to empty the recycling bins, don’t think of it as a chore, think of it as a project you and God are working on together. I hear He’s great to work with…
Copyright 2012 Laura Nelson
About the Author
Laura B. Nelson is a Catholic wife and mother of three children. She is also a Catholic author, speaker, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist, and full-time Coordinator of Children's Faith Formation. Laura likes to be busy but she most enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their home in Grapevine, Texas. Find out more about Laura at LauraBNelson.com.