A Good Time to Care

Extraterrestrial life, or the possibility of it, has been getting a lot of press lately, especially since the recent New York Times article investigating reports by military pilots of unidentified flying objects they encountered in the course of their daily duties.

If I was a betting man, I believe I’d put money on the likelihood of there being life somewhere else in the universe. After all, it’s a pretty big place.

Having said that, I also believe that if it turns out there isn’t anyone else out there, I’d be ok with that.

Some folks are convinced that there are aliens among us, that there has to be a governmental cover-up dwarfing the JFK conspiracy theories and the lunar landings that is keeping the general public from knowing the real truth about extraterrestrial life.

To which I say, with all the passion and vigor I can muster, “Whatever.”

Can we talk about terrestrial life for a few minutes? There are approaching 8 billion of us on this magnificent celestial orb we call Earth. No matter where we stand on the necessity of contemplating carbon footprints and global warming, almost 8 billion humans in a finite space translates to the necessity of cooperation and awareness of need. And awareness of impact.

For the anti-tree huggers among us, events like Earth Day and the whole environmental movement must seem like so much hooey, major annoyances. Just window dressing and a band-aid, a bandwagon easy to jump on for a day or two.

However, for anyone who claims that the Bible speaks with a certain authority, care of the earth is not optional. Care for all its inhabitants is not optional.

There are two creation stories in the book of Genesis- chapters 1:1-2:4a, and 2:4b-24. The first speaks of “filling the earth and subduing it,” while the second portrays us humans as stewards and caretakers. The battle rages over which one deserves our allegiance, though it seems pretty clear that blindly ascribing to the first is a disaster in progress, not to mention incredibly selfish and short-sighted.

Wherever we stand on the authority of Scripture, or on the eco-awareness spectrum, may we be moved to take care of things—our families, our hearts and souls, and the only planet the vast majority of us will ever call

                                                            Earthrise from Apollo 8.  Christmas Eve, 1968


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