Ever since I was a little boy, I have greatly enjoyed nature: from visiting the Jersey Shore, to fishing with my dad, to hiking the New Hampshire mountains with my uncle. As I have grown older, I’ve had opportunities to travel to various countries around the world and see a multitude of seas, oceans, mountains, prairies, waterfalls, rivers, streams, and wildlife.
Recently, my wife and I visited Glacier National Park in Montana. The glaciers here are all rapidly melting and will disappear within the next five years due to climate change. Pine trees are ladened with mosses that are killing them, leaving vast forests of stick figure trees standing among the new growth emerging underneath. Other pine trees have also been dying due to the pine bore beetle that is responsible for thousands of dead trees throughout the west. This, too, is a result of warmer winter temperatures not killing off the beetles, as would have happened in the past. The changing climate is forcing wildlife to adapt to new food sources and changing habitats. Some are adapting; some are not and will soon disappear.
On this trip we saw trees change practically overnight from deep green leaves to leaves of gold, orange, and red. Some days, the mountains seemed to be flocked by God as the clouds lay gently on their peaks; and on one day, a light snow sprinkled high above the valleys spoke of the changing seasons. The rivers and streams were so crystal clear that I could see the fish within and thought I could catch them in my bare hands.
As I surveyed the mountains, lakes, and streams, I couldn’t help but think of some of the biblical quotes I learned as a youth that spoke of God’s amazing creation. “In the beginning God created….” Genesis 1:1; “I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth,” Psalm 121:1-2; “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4. These biblical texts, as well as many more throughout scripture, flowed through my mind as I gazed at the wonder of God’s creation, and I sadly thought how much of it is being destroyed by our own selfishness. Internally, I weep when I think of what we are doing to the future of God’s creation and how it is affecting my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Since becoming involved in EEN and now as chair of EEN’s Board, I have gained a new understanding, deepening my concern and respect for creation. The vast beauty of God’s creation is certainly a wonder to behold when we take the time away from our busy lives to stop, look, listen, and drink in its majesty. As a champion of creation care and the need for all of us living in this fragile world to care for the future of God’s creation, including addressing the climate crisis, I encourage each of you to support efforts to keep our world clean, safe, and pollution free. Join EEN as a financial supporter, learn more about creation care, share your concerns with your political leaders, reduce your fossil fuel use, lower your carbon footprint, recycle, compost, use less plastic, and pray for God’s guidance.
O God, forgive us for using your creation for our own ends and not understanding that we are here to be caretakers, partnering with You for the continuing health of this world and beyond. Amen.