So I get home from work and my son informs me that he has something important to show me. And I, being the involved father that I am give him my attention. He leads me into the living room and flops down his January 2007 edition of Ranger Rick magazine on the recliner.
Ranger Rick is a magazine put out by theNational Wildlife Federation, who's mission is to "Inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future." It's usually filled with interesting articles that have educated my son about such animals as the wood frog, who has chemicals in it's blood to keep it's body from freezing solid, and then there's the deadliest frog in the world, the Phyllobates terribilis, aka "Mr. Terrible", or the Matschie's tree kangaroos that live in New Guinea.
He says, "Look at that, Dad."
I say, "What is it?"
He points to the open magazine page and says concerned and matter-of-factly, "Right there."
I look, and find on page 10 this two column article about global warming:
My first reponse to him was something akin to what I heard John MacArthur say once:
"Son, you think the Earth is messed up now, wait 'til Jesus comes back...He's really gonna make a mess!"
True enough, even though it dripped with sarcasm.
Now I had to come up with something meaningful to say...something spiritual...something fatherly...something that wouldn't shatter his ongoing quest for knowledge and yet enough to temper his loose zeal to save the earth.
[Aside: this wasn't the first time he went all greenpeace on me...after putting up our deerstand this year, he rebuked me for trimming the top out of a pine tree...said we needed that tree to help us breathe or something...I told him to stop over-reacting that he was acting like a tree hugger. I think I used the MacArthur line then too - it's so funny!]
So anyways...what do you say?
Well, I told him that I was glad that he was concerned about taking care of the earth - for it was created by God & we should be good stewards of it. However, we must remember to never value creation over the Creator, nor should we consider animals or creation as being more important than people.
I have a friend who loves the Lord and also loves God's creation - Zach truly believes that (in his own words) "all things were created to scream back at His worth and faithfulness!!" While completing his Master's degree he's had the privilege of taking two trips to Madagascar to observe the Aye-Aye monkey. He's spent months living in a tent, in the jungle, during the rainy season, covered with leaches in order to fulfill his observations & complete his thesis for his Master's program. He truly saw God's glory in creation while there and values it greatly - for what it was meant to accomplish. He also saw the pitiful condition of the people in the local village - children running around naked and starving. These villagers have had to cut into the rainforest to survive and Zach understands that and knows that this is necessary and that people are more important than trees. He also knows of unnecessary practices that go on - such as killing gorillas, cutting off their hands and feet and leaving the carcass in the jungle to rot.
And why? Ashtrays.
Now, I'm not out to find the missing link - not even interested in signing this . I'm just curious as how to find the balance in this area of stewardship of creation. There's got to be a balance in here somewhere. How can we be enviromental without being an enviromentalist?