As mentioned in my last post, this weekend was the first (and hopefully ‘annual’) PRV youth retreat. We traveled about 30-miles north of Crouch, Idaho, to a place called Silver Creek Plunge, which was, appropriately enough, in a valley called “Peace Valley.” 😀
There were 12 of us on the retreat – seven young adults ranging from 12(?) to 19, four leaders and a two year old. Granted, the two year old thought he was much, much older and kept insisting that he be allowed to join the others in their activities. The teenagers, for their part, did an awesome job at including him in their activities; without, I might add, any requests or comments from us – they simply just loved hanging out and playing with him! (how cool is that! I love our church family!)
Throughout the weekend we talked about creation and how God is continually active in creation, whether that be humanity, fauna, flora, dirt or rocks. St. Paul tells us in the first chapter of Colossians that all “things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” was make through and for Jesus. Furthermore, not only was it made by the Creator, but it is sustained by Him – meaning, that He didn’t just make things and then went on vacation. Nope, He is right there in the midst of everything working and fighting against the injustice of the evil one, till that day comes when enough is enough and all things are renewed and evil is destroyed once and for all (oh, that it may come soon!).
Yet, I digress from the main topic…
Weaved into our chats about creation was the theme of our, humanities, responsible to ‘tend the garden.’ The very first job given to Adam at the beginning of the world was to take care of the land and help it produce good fruit (Gen 2:15). Accordingly we, as Adam’s descendants, are to take care of the land and animals and help them flourish.
Sadly enough, all too many people think about the environment with a zero sums mentality in which it is ‘us’ (humanity) versus ‘them’ (animals and plants). This, I believe, is a false dichotomy as it IS possible to manage the land in such a way to support all forms of life (humanity, fauna and flora)!!
The problem is not that there isn’t enough land or resources on the planet – the problem is one of greed that drives humanity to take, destroy and/or waste more resources than they need too. This is why I’m a supporter of the three Rs:
- Reduce the amount of goods used whether through not buying anything (a great money saver by the way) or by choosing products with low impact packaging (i.e. buying bulk items rather any individually wrap stuff).
- Reuse items when possible. Plastic sandwich bags for example can be washed and reused multiple times (this not only saves $$ as you spend less buying new bags, but it keeps X-number of bags out of the land field).
- Recycle everything that is possible to recycle. This does two things: 1) it reduces the amount of raw materials dug out of the earth and 2) it reduces the amount of junk thrown into the landfill. (Note that the is no excuse not to recycle even if your city/town does not have curb side pickup. Just storage up the good, something that is not that hard especially if you reduce or reuse items, and haul them into town once a month or every two months, as need be. This is what we do and we live 30 to 40 miles from the nearest recycle center…)