On my return flight to Seattle I sat next to a man from Holland who reclaimed and recycled computers that had been forgone for the latest and greatest models. He cleaned them up and sold them reduced to folks who just needed a basic computer for things like book keeping or keeping tabs on a home business.
Aside from being very opinionated on topics of our conversation (“You were homeschooled? Oh so you are one of the sheltered ones,” and “My father was a staunch atheist and my mother was a devout Roman Catholic – I know all the arguments and see it from both sides,”) one area where we seemed to have common ground and see eye to eye was on consumption and the earth’s resources. (Derive what you will from the fact that we were both flying cross country.)
On a previous flight he had sat next to a woman and engaged in a conversation much like our own – the frightful amount of waste that is generated into landfills the world over, how alternative forms of energy are being used from solar panels to methane-capturing tarps over landfills in Holland to living lightly on the earth ourselves. The difference he pointed out was that this woman had bleached blonde and styled hair, a fresh nail job, a name-brand carry on, was blinged-out with jewelry and gems and yet touted a “light-carbon footprint” and caring about the poor and destitute in yonder third world countries.
“But with you, I see a difference,” his Dutch accent curled. “I can see you are what you say you are about.”
Thank you, God. I only hope that doing what I say is apparent to others in my life as well. It is so much easier to be known for being environmentally conscious, a sustainable agriculture advocate and trying to live below my means. These are popular ways to be at this point in time. It’s become a trend among the “aware” to sport stainless steel water bottles and set out recycling at the curb and find your social niche at the farmer’s market. It is indeed harder to be known for your faith. Especially in a society where a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy and where the individual reigns surrounds us. It’s not politically correct to display your faith – but totally fine to harp on others for creating vast amounts of waste, not recycling and making numerous or thoughtless trips riding high in the various gas-guzzlers all too popular to the American public.
But how do you make known the reasons behind the actions? Let it be known that I choose to bike when I can instead of driving my car because oil is a finite resource that God made as a part of His world and the flippancy with which it is used really doesn’t equate to good stewardship; that living as closely inside the realm of what He has made (which He called good) is a way to worship and honor Him that made it (it’s in man-created ‘Babels’ that disunity is most rampant); and that caring for the earth and all that is in it (minerals, topsoil, natural gas, kangaroos, goldfish, bees, horses, pine trees, herbs, friends, strangers, foreigners, visitors and relationships) hopefully shows my respect for and glory of the Creator.