Man’s failure at stewardship

The BP Gulf oil spill is heart-breaking. Knowing that the Gulf economy is wrecked, the fishing industry is kaput, tourism is gone, and the lovely and stunning beaches and marshes are oil-slicked ruins is completely disheartening. Also knowing that the animals are suffering is also hard to watch, because they are innocent. What did a dolphin ever do to us?

As a matter of fact, God set it up so that they would depend on us and our stewardship. He gave dominion of the animal world to us, saying to Adam, “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” The bible talks a lot about stewardship, and many people take that to mean money and tithing, and it is, but it also means conscientious handling of the earth. [Above, An oil soaked bird struggles against the side of the HOS Iron Horse supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Photograph: Gerald Herbert/AP (Guardian / UK) – May 10, 2010.] We are definitely failing in our stewardship charge.

Today I saw some photos of an ‘illegal highway’ in Arizona, a path where Mexicans apparently go across the border and when they do, they drop what they are carrying so as to blend in better with the local illegal and legal population once they emerge from the desert. The photos were accompanied with the typical “Good for Arizona and Oh gosh those filthy Mexicans” kind of tripe. Here is one photo example making the rounds:

But then thanks to Coyote Blog‘s entry ‘Glass Houses”, I started thinking of other areas of the world where such trash piles accumulate. Left unpicked-up, trash accumulates in National Forests,

In bucolic New England towns, from people too lazy to cross town to get to the dump, where they leave “Bags of trash, mattresses, cardboard boxes, metal barrels, tires, and car seats were just some of the items found on a quick inspection of the area on Tuesday. [K]ids found dead animals in trash bags a few years ago. Typically the trash has been household garbage, washers and dryers, tires and sometimes adult magazines…”

And from rich Americans and Europeans atop Mount Everest, where a massive expedition has been undertaken to remove it.

From the forests to the prairies, from the mountains to the sea, we’re pigs. We have totally abandoned God’s call to stewardship of the planet and of the animals.

It reminds me of a great Twilight Zone episode called “The Masks.” In it, a rich guy with an attractive and well-tailored but craven and evil family summons the gang to his deathbed. He tells them that if they wear some Mardi Gras grotesque masks until midnight they get all his money but if they don’t all they get is train fare home. Uncaring of his imminent death and wanting the money, they comply. As the evening progresses, they writhe under the unbearable discomfort the masks afford, and beg to remove them. Reminded that the riches will not be theirs until the appointed hour, they reluctantly leave them on. The patriarch dies after making his final speech. Joyous that they could now remove the grotesque masks, they reach up only to find that the masks had morphed into their faces, rendering their outward likeness as a mirror of their interior character and nature.

In Matthew 23:26 Jesus said, “Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” What is on the inside of us will come out as filth. Unless our insides are cleaned by Jesus, it will always result in filth. The photos of the trash and death and destruction of the earth are simply an outward representation of what is inside us, for “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. (Isaiah 59:7). As long as the world is ruled by a fallen man, the fruits will surface, and the fruits of fallen man are trash. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6).

However that is not the end of the story. He will make all things new!! “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Rev 21:5). He is true and faithful, He will remake the earth that we have messed up in our sin and filth, and forevermore sin will no more pollute the earth- or our souls! Hallelujah.