Caretakers? or Blight?

I am still doing my daily bible reading. Today, my reading was Psalm 47. This is a wonderful psalm of praising God and encouraging us to praise God by clapping our hands and shouting joyful praise. For some reason this psalm took me back to Genesis, probably because of its reminder that God is ruler over all the earth and that we are his creation along with the earth and this universe.

When I think of what is written in Genesis Chapter 1 v27-28 “27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.'” (NLT) my thoughts turn towards the responsibility that God gave us.

God gave us dominion over the earth and all his creations on it. He gave us the care and responsibility of this earth. In our selfishness, we have abused the earth and the power God gave to us. We have taken and taken and taken from this earth while not giving anything back. We do not tend to the fields, the forests or sea to ensure they continue to thrive, are healthy and sustain the creatures who live there. Instead, we have torn down and contaminated what God has given into our trust. It breaks my heart. If it breaks my heart what must God feel? I think he feels betrayed.

We are witnessing the decline of our earth, our responsibility. There are more than 7 billion humans on this earth. As one of those 7 billion, I look around me and think it is hopeless, that there isn’t anything I can do that would bring change to this magnificent creation God has given us. And yet, every day, I choose to try. What kind of amazing changes could happen if every person chooses to do one thing every day, whether it is to pick up a piece of trash that is on the ground that everyone walks by without seeing because it is so common place it has just become a part of our environment, or whether it is to walk instead of drive to the corner store, or choose to eliminate as much plastic usage in their life as they can or any other number of small things each person can do. Choose not to buy that product that is all wrapped in plastic, and buy the one next to it that either has no wrapping or the wrapping is completely recyclable. There are a number of things we can do that if everyone does one thing every day, change will start to occur.

We HAVE to start thinking of our responsibilities which God gave us. He entrusted us with his creation.

Maybe one of my strongest abilities is to be able to view a situation from another person’s perspective or imagine what it might be like if I was to do something which I have seen others do. When I do this I am usually able to answer such questions as: “How would I feel if ….someone took something I gave into their responsibility to care for and let it through abuse or neglect deteriorate and become almost unusable?” If someone gave me the responsibility as caretaker of their home and land while they were gone on a trip, entrusting me with its care, how would I feel as the owner of that home if I came back to find out the roof was leaking, the plants were dying, the gardens could no longer produce food to eat? As the owner, I would feel betrayed, hurt and I would grieve over the destruction of what had once been a healthy and thriving piece of land and solid piece of structure meant to protect my family.

This is how I imagine God must feel about how we have abused the responsibility he gave us as caretakers of his creation. It breaks my heart.

Some of this is bubbling up because of witnessing a group of teenagers blatantly being destructive of property they do not own. About 3 times in as many weeks, the fence to our townhouse complex has been broken. They find it hilarious to run and jump at the fence to cause the panels to break, creating a gap in the fence. The cost to repair is about $500 for each panel broken. The families who live here earn barely enough to afford the mortgage, and general living cost and to keep our strata funds sufficient for repairs. The last event was witnessed by a passerby who almost ran over the kids that were running away after they did the damage because these kids hightailed it away from the scene crossing a busy street in front of cars and trucks. The passerby had to slam on his breaks to keep from hitting them. The police were called and came to investigate.

I discovered the next day was a Pro-D day from school. One other incident happened on a Friday night. There seems to be a trend of kids being left to do as they please on nights when there are no school the next day.

We don’t just have the responsibility of this earth, we have the responsibility of raising our children to understand responsibility and consequences of their actions. Throughout the Old Testament are stories of the children of Israel being taught their responsibilities by God. He chose to take on the role of their father. Just as he has accepted the responsibility of disciplining his children, teaching them right from wrong, so should we as parents accept that same role for our children. However, as long as we neglect the responsibilities given to us, so our children will also learn to neglect the responsibilities given to them. Most children learn by example, so as long as we neglect our caretaker responsibilities don’t expect our children to care one bit for the property of others.

My daughter is so grateful she no longer attends the school these kids attend because she knows she would not be able to stand by and not defend herself, her property and her friends from these destructive kids. As a parent, I’m glad she is out of range of their influence but sorry they apparently do not have the role models they need to be responsible and God fearing people. I pray for their souls, that God will help them find a better path than the one they are on now. I pray this not only for the teenagers but for all those in need of his guidance upon this earth so that we might find our way back to being responsible for the duty as caretaker which he gave to us.