Monday, April 5, 2010

Spiritual Footprints

“What kind of carbon footprint are you leaving?” If you haven’t been challenged with this statement, you don’t own a television or read a newspaper. It is today’s buzz phrase around the state of the environment. I don’t know if it is listed in Webster’s dictionary yet, but my interpretation would be that it refers to the result an individual’s personal use of our planet’s limited natural resources.

Though I am skeptical about the reality of “global warming” as it is presented in the media and elsewhere, the attention it is getting has caused me to consider my own use of those resources that God has provided to make life, in terms of energy, air, water and food, possible. In principle, I believe that waste of any kind is wrong. And if my wasting robs another of what they need to survive, then I ought to reconsider how I am doing things. In short, I ought to use only my fair share.

In all the hype and talk and warning of global disaster, however, there is missing a critical element; the inclusion of a sovereign, creator God into the equation. Environmentalists, so far as I have observed, leave Him out of the picture entirely. Their viewpoint focuses only on how we as humans can save our planet for generations to come. There is no consideration given to what scripture has to say regarding the God of Creation, a sovereign God Who already has put His own plans in motion regarding the fate of our world. There is no eternal perspective, of more life to be had than what we live out now on earth.

In scripture, we read of the eventual fate of this planet we live on. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. (2Peter 3:10)”. And then, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells (vs. 13)”.

Now, I don’t mean to imply that it is pointless to wisely use our resources. Though I don’t believe that Christians are meant to be “tree huggers”, we do have a responsibility as stewards of God’s gifts to us. I recently watched a program where it was stated that if the rest of the world were to live as we live here in North America, we would need five more planet earths’ worth of resources. Staggering, isn’t it? We have so much. That alone tells me that I need to remind myself of what great blessings we have in this country, and to be mindful of how I use them. How we respond to the reality of our wealth and others’ lack is between each of us and our God.

But what about eternity? If I believe what the Bible says, my “carbon footprint” will eventually be redundant. This ‘ole planet will be destroyed and replaced with a brand spanking new one that has been restored to the state of perfection that God originally created it in. All of the things that consume us, and scare us, regarding climate change and disease and economic disaster will be forgotten. All those efforts to control and cure and correct, however well intentioned and successful, will not matter one bit. The slate will be wiped clean, and our sovereign, creator God will once again have the world He made in the beginning, to the praise of His glorious grace.

Before I became a Christian, I had a longing to do something that had an impact. Something that made a difference. Not just for here and now, but forever. I believe that this is because we are created as eternal beings. Whether we know God or not, He has placed in us a consciousness of something beyond the here and now, something that transcends what we see and hear and feel of this present life. It is a call to eternity. When I was born again, a door was opened to my understanding. I knew that I had an eternal purpose. I am only here for a short time. But as God’s child, as His instrument, and servant here on earth, I can have an impact that lasts forever. I can make spiritual footprints, as I walk through my life. I can influence others for eternity, as I share the life of Christ that is within me. I can give them hope, in the face of all the doom and gloom forecasting that we are subjected to every day. I can direct them to the One Who has made us all, and Who is the sovereign controller of every outcome. I can focus on things above, and be a witness to things eternal, the eternal life that we can have in Jesus Christ. I can make that difference that will last forever.

What about you? Have you let the nightly news and daily newspaper keep your thoughts and concerns chained to world events, the price of gas, and the latest prediction of global disaster? Or do you get up each day, asking God to show you what He would have you do? What can we do for Him, in spite of so much focus on man’s destiny as seen through the eyes of those who know not nor acknowledge the existence of the One you know to be above and beyond all of their forecasts and inflated sense of ability to heal our world? What attitude will you put on, what spiritual footprint will you leave for all eternity?

“Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, (2Peter 3:11).”

God grant us the faith and courage to live in light of His Kingdom, which is now and forever will be.

© 2010 Maureen Breakspear
Originally published in “Testimony” Magazine


Anonymous said...

“And they devoted themselves . . . .” Acts 2:42

When the early believers converted to Christ, it never occurred to them to fit him into the margins of their busy lives. They redefined themselves around a new, immovable center. He was not an optional weekend activity, along with the kids’ soccer practices. They put him and his church and his cause first in their hearts, first in their schedules, first in their budgets, first in their reputations, first in their very lives. They devoted themselves.

Maureen said...

If Christ is our life, then we will fit our LIFE into HIM.