The Beauty and The Problem
A lot is happening in our world this week. We are in the joyous time of Eastertide. As I look toward this Saturday, thinking about Earth Day, I am reminded of the creation narratives we have in Genesis. Earth Day is a great reminder to do our part to care for the planet we inhabit. As Christians, God gave us the command to care for Creation. Celebrating Earth Day is a wonderful, annual reminder to fulfill that commandment however you can. When we think about creation, many of us think about beautiful scenic routes fit to go on postcards or printed out on a wall. It is less often that we think about the small parts, creatures, and people that make up those big scenes.
Last summer I went on a trip for a family reunion in Glacier National Park, one of my favorite places in the country. The drive from Texas to Montana is gorgeous the entire way. Once you get close to the park, the mountains dominate the views in the most spectacular way. During our stay at the park, we saw incredible valleys, waterfalls, glaciers, and creatures. It was unforgettable. But throughout our trip, we were told by many of the park rangers about the impacts that climate change has on the park. They warned us that many of the glaciers in the park are expected to melt by 2030. That meant that for many people visiting the park that summer or in the near future, they would see the glaciers for the last time.
My family made the most of it. We hiked, we swam, we slid down snow packed hills, we kayaked, though not well, and took a few boats. It was incredible. Yet, the whole trip left me wondering what more can I be doing to make sure places like this stay beautiful for generations to come? The answer was not much.
The effects of climate change are in motion already. However, that does not mean that it has to continue getting worse. That part is where I find hope. I know it can seem daunting to approach this crisis. It can also feel like your small contribution does not mean much in the grand scheme of things. But I invite you to consider how it does matter that as individuals we fulfill our call from God to care for this creation. The size of the task, the possibility of the task, does not excuse us from taking action towards a solution. Even more so, God calls us to the individual work, and the larger work of calling out the larger problems that are out of our reach to fix. So, let us celebrate this Earth Day enjoying the beauty of what we have now, knowing that we can be part of the solution.