This week of Creation Care emphasis has coincided with a very busy time of the semester on the Plainview campus. We are in the first week of early registration for the Spring term which means faculty and students alike are pouring over course schedules and degree plans. As a result, my mind has unavoidably conflated the two. As I listened to Rachel Lamb’s message in chapel on Wednesday, I was challenged in a new way regarding the role of Creation Care in my daily walk with Christ.
It was several years ago when we first began our Creation Care emphasis week at Wayland that I first made the connection between caring for the environment and my duty as a Christian to be a steward of God’s creation. Prior to that moment, I knew I was responsible to God for managing my own resources in a way that honors Him, but I had not recognized God’s creation, the physical world, as my responsibility. It became obvious to me through meditating on the Psalms that God’s handiwork is all around, and how I live my life not only has an impact on the people around me but on the physical world as well. So, I have taken small steps to lessen that impact and even engage in creation care as worship of the Creator.
And yet, I have not been as persistent or committed as I ought. That’s what struck me in chapel on Wednesday. Rachel presented a three pronged approach to serving our Lord by serving his Church, serving people, and serving creation. From what I heard, she went one step further and claimed that all three were necessary. You cannot eliminate any one of those.
It dawned on me that I often treat my responsibilities to God, including service, worship, study, even stewardship of his creation, as if they were “electives” instead of “core requirements” in my daily walk. As we schedule our classes for next semester, we make sure to first include the ones that are required and then pick and choose our electives based on what fits our schedule and interests.
My challenge to you (and especially to me) is to “enroll” in the core requirements of our relationship with God. Time with God is not an elective. The study of his Word is not an elective. The stewardship of his creation is not an elective, especially when neglecting and even wasting his gifts has a demonstrably harmful effect on the “least of these.” Consider for yourself what are the core requirements of your faith and bring them back into focus in your daily walk.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.