upper room daily devotions

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day - It Isn't Easy Being Green

Earth Day is today. Does it make a difference? How many people will do anything differently today - much less change ingrained habits - than any other day?
Even the Wall Street Journal is asking whether the hype about this day might be obfuscating the importance its message. Have we commercialized Earth Day into another marketing gimmick much like Christmas?

We have now reached a point where changing a light bulb and separating recycles just won't be enough. The reality is that while we can make many small changes in our lives that may impact the earth in little ways, deep commitment is needed for the earth to be healthy and vibrant once again. As that great frog Kermit once sang, "It isn't easy being green." And...why should it be? Isn't something worthwhile worth making significant changes for? I think so. That's one of the core messages of my faith.

Rather than succumbing to a feeling of powerlessness in the face of the enormity of our environmental problems, wouldn't it be wonderful if they could serve to wake us up to sacramental lives and set us on a life path rooted and anchored in deep stewardship? My faith teaches me that with every breath I can be a better steward - of the earth, of the air, of plants, of my community, of my church. To be a steward is to be one who cares for the integrity of another. It's a holy obligation that we have to care for one another and for all of creation.

Like everyone else, I stumble around trying to become a better steward of the earth. Like everyone else, I have a long way to go. Earth Day may be wrapped in too much commercialism, but it still serves to remind me that radical stewardship is needed and that it is needed from me. It may not be easy to make the deep and radical changes necessary to do what I can for God's great creation, but that's no excuse not to try.

Here's a shameless plug:

One way I stay connected to "on the ground" work for the conservation of some of the earth's most precious species is by financially supporting the work of Wildlife Direct. I've decided that Wildlife Direct is where I'm putting my green bills partly because they are active in a variety of places in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, two places which I adore and to which I feel connected. They do a brilliant job through their blogs of keeping supporters updated on day to day activity, real time needs, and breaking news. I also value the ability to give in specific ways to each conservation effort. This is a commitment that I've made, but there are many great environmental groups that need financial help.

Happy Earth Day!

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