If you are given something that belongs to someone else how do you treat it? I imagine you would care for it, look after it, possibly find out more about it. In Psalm 24:1-2 we are told
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”
As we continue to look at Christian teaching of stewardship of the environment, this verse reminds us that as the creator and sustainer of the universe it all belongs to God. Therefore we should care for it, look after it, and our theme for this week – treat it with respect. But what does it mean to respect something? Some synonyms for respect are: consideration; thoughtfulness; attentiveness. I think these three words show what it means to respect the world in which we live, and is what George Washington Carver was thinking about when he said “Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.”
We are often to respect people, but I find that I gain respect for people as I find out more about them. I always have a general respect for all individuals and try to treat everyone with respect, but the more I get to know people and learn about them the more respect I have for them. It is the same for the world in which we live. We can easily find pictures of it’s beauty, watch videos of amazing scenes etc, but it is not until we actually spend time in it, experiencing it that we will develop more of a respect of for it. And if you listen and look carefully, you may well see or hear God, continuing to work in His creation.
Challenge: Go for a walk in a park/wood away from the streets what do you notice
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your creation, and that you allow us to experience it. Help us to seek you and experience you in your creation. Amen.