Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Destroying God's Art

by Donna L. Watkins

When Benjamin was little, we had drawings and schoolwork papers all around the house - on the refrigerator, walls and doors. We made our greeting cards for each other and I still have some of those close at hand in my night stand beside the bed. Benjamin is now 30, but I treasure them even more now than I did when they were being given abundantly.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Macro of Bull Thistle Flower
What causes us to decorate with such silliness? These drawings are obviously worthless in the realm of the art world. The ceramic mug that sits on my desk that our son made would not bring a dollar at an auction, and yet you couldn't buy it from me for a million dollars. Why do we value such things? Because we value the people who made them.

Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." NIV

This passage of Scripture tells us that we see God's eternal power and divine nature in what He has made. Do we value that? Christians are known as the most heartless of peoples when it comes to preserving God's Creation. This turns an enormous amount of people away from The Church because it's unfathomable to them that these people who call themselves children of God place no value on the things that He created for us all so that we might know Him. That we might enter into a realm of knowing the invisible qualities of God, 'His eternal power and divine nature' which is clearly seen in what He has made.

Edward Brown, in Our Father's World, says this: "The biggest reason for caring for God's Creation has nothing to do with the extent or the severity of the crisis, the number of people affected, or even the ultimate future of the human race. It has to do with one simple fact: I know the God who made it all. And I love Him. If I can place a high price on things that have little or no objective value simply because they were made by one of my children, how much more ought I to value and care for this amazing world God made - this world that is precious because He made it, and that represents an excellence and beauty far beyond anything that any of us could begin to comprehend, let alone make on our own."

Colossians 1:15-16 says, "He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him." NIV

The person of the Trinity that created it all was Jesus. By Him all things were created. He is the sustainer of Creation, the power that holds it all together. Scientists have studied electrons and atoms and DNA, forever trying to figure out how things are held together, especially when you consider the entire universe. We who have accepted Him as our Savior have a covenant relationship with Him. This relationship should be much deeper than any other relationship we will have on this earth. How can I not have a passionate love for all He has made to show me who He is and to be able to know Him better through it? Should we care so little about it being destroyed?

God didn't make the world for you or me. His Word says He made it for Himself, but He put us in charge of it. We were commanded to steward it. But why are we to steward this earth? Most Christians say that the earth will burn up anyway, so why care? Edward Brown says, "This is hardly a serious point of view, and usually evaporates with a simple analogy. I will sometimes pretend to hand such a person a pack of cigarettes and ask them, quite seriously, why they don't smoke. 'Your body is just going to die anyway - and rot in the grave. So why not?' We know we have to care for our bodies, as temporary as they are, and almost everybody understands immediately that the same logic applies to caring for creation."

The Enemy delights in knowing God's children are not caring for His Creation, just as he is delighted when we abuse our bodies with drugs, junk foods and bad thinking. What would happen to the poor if we got involved with social justice and stopped the chemical dumping. Environmental issues are not just for the earth, they are all about the poor who suffer most from the destruction. Mobilization of a church takes no resources that aren't already established. Activities and programs in place can include this aspect of relationship with God.

When our mindset is on the world around us, we will spend less on ourselves because we will feel connected to each other and God. That will give us more to contribute to the causes our hearts want to give to. Because we are so disconnected from the way God intended us to live, we spend our money on ourselves continually trying to fill those empty spots that nothing but God can fill. We don't have to live in poverty to be able to give the lost and dying. My point is that we don't have to live with the enormous burdens of debt that accumulates from a superficial lifestyle.

Mary Ellen Edmunds says it well: “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.”

Where do you go when you want to retreat with God? To one of the beautiful places in His Creation. Those places are becoming more and more polluted and many of them have been totally eliminated. When we preserve those "green spaces" and begin to reforest and replace them, we are creating temples to meet and deepen our relationship with our Father as we visit with the Master Artist surrounded by His handiwork.

No church ever lost money conserving energy. Families who recycle take notice of how much "stuff" they go through and begin thinking "less is more." When we reconnect to The Garden, we find that we don't need the gadgets to keep our minds numb, the excess food to nurture our souls, or the busyness that destroys family time. We can come back to not only a walk in The Garden with God, but into a more peaceful inner and outer lifestyle. Will you ponder these words and share your thoughts in the comments area with others? Will you be a steward of what God has created for Himself?

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© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this because it is so very, very true. There is nothing that brings me more peace than sitting outside early in the morning when the weather permits, watching the sun rise, listening to the birds as the world awakens. The smell of the grass is so fresh from the dew God has sent to nurture it. I even dislike cutting the flowers to take them inside, preferring to leave them until I must dead-head the plant and grow indoor plants separately. There are so many treasures that God has given to us freely. We must simply learn to appreciate their true value.


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