Earth Day – Celebration of Creation and Creator

Earth Day – Celebration of Creation & Creator
-Reflections from Andy Gilstrap 

Our current discussion on Creation, dealing with our perspective, care, and caring of it, reminds me of a lesson I learned earlier in my life.

When I was in college I would travel home for the holidays.  I remember coming home for Christmas and all the family activities that we would have, like decorating the Christmas tree.  Every year my mom would wait to decorate the tree until we were all home together.  We would open the boxes of decorations, sort them, and start hanging them on the tree.

My mom kept every decoration we made in school.  she saved them and we’ve used them, even to this day. 

Every year I would question, “why are using these old, worn out, and busted decorations that we all made throughout our childhood?”.  I would ask, “can’t we buy some nice, coordinating, clean, and new decorations to make the tree a little nicer?”.  I always wondered why mom was so endeared to these decorations.  I knew the obvious, they were made by her kids, but I didn’t take any further thought into that.  Why?  It had been long enough.  We could move on, right? We had used them, there was no need to deal with these old and delicate things anymore.  They had been used up and they were not worth caring for.  Let’s just move on.  

A few years later, while reflecting on other truths I was attempting to learn, this time came to mind. Looking back I saw the truth that had been very evident to my mom all along. How you care for the gift, will show how you care about the giver.

It wasn’t actually about the decorations.  They are literally irreplaceable.  We can’t go back in time and make those again.  I will never be in first grade again making a cinnamon scented pine cone for the tree.  They are precious,  They are sacred. They are a keepsake.   They are also gone, once they are used up, broken, lost, or discarded.  Again, they are irreplaceable.

But it wasn’t only the fragile nature of them that meant some much to my mom.  It was us.  We meant that much.  How she cherished those gifts showed how much she cared for us.

We can say all the right things.  Go to a church service over and over.  Recite creeds and prayers.  But that is not enough.  Its about more than that.  Its about actually living differently, as well.

This is not a political movement.  This is not a matter of scientific proof.  It is not a lifestyle choice or the hip thing of the moment.  Yes, all those things are feeding into our conversation on the environment.  They are present at our time.  Its not even about a scripture where God calls us to steward the Earth. Its even bigger than that.

Its about our care for God himself.  Not our opinion.  But what actually believe.  Not what we say we believe, but what actually comes out in our actions or inactions. How we live.  Who we are.

How we see creation.  How we feel about it.  How we treat it.  How we talk about it.  How we involve others.  All of this, will show how we actually feel about God.

God is the ground of all being.  He is the source of it all.  He is in it all and is holding it all together.  It is all connected.  

Everything from God is a gift.  Creation is a gift.

How you treat the gift, will show how you feel about the giver.

How you CARE FOR the gift, will show how you CARE ABOUT the giver.


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