In August I finished A Child’s Walk in the Wilderness:  An 8-Year-Old Boy and His Father Take on the Appalachian Trail by Paul Molyneaux.  It relates the adventures of the author and his son through the hike of the Appalachian Trail.  The beauty of this book is the wonder of an 8-year-old as he explores the world of the trail.  At one point Paul comments that he would have missed so much of what there is to see if he had not been with his son.

As I read, I relived outdoor adventures of my own; canoeing and hiking along the Grand River, wandering the trails around Bethany College, hiking to several waterfalls in the Cumberland Falls State Park in KY, and exploring Chained Rock and Cumberland Gap.  This book and my memories tied me back to the power of God’s Creation of our world.

As we get older and spend less time in the great outdoors, we begin to take for granted the world that God made.  We have been made stewards of all that God created; the water, the air, the earth, and all that lives within this creation.  It is not ours to use up and dispose of; it is ours to return to the One who made them.  This is not about whether or not Global Warning is real or fiction.  It is about our responsibility to care for Creation.

On the trail, Paul and his son clean up after themselves and others who toss trash on the ground.  They had to clean some of the shelters along the trail because hikers left all their waste behind.  A father and his little son picked up after other “responsible adults.”  We witness the same lack of concern for our environment when we see people toss cigarette butts out their car windows or empty their car ash trays in parking lots.  Hardly a week passes when one of us must pick up food containers, bottles, or other trash tossed out on Green St.  If people can be this disrespectful of Creation with trash that can be put in trash cans at home or at a business, why are we amazed when we hear of major businesses and others pouring pollutants into our water and air.

As Christians, we must do all that we can to not add to the problems of pollution.  Using less energy, and being as careful with the energy we do use can show respect for the earth and or devotion to the One who made it.  Recycling, reusing, or repurposing things we no longer need or want can be a great way to be better stewards.  Reducing the amount of chemicals that you use around your home and yard will prevent those same chemicals from getting into the air and water supply.  There are many recipes for inexpensive cleaning products that can be made at home.  Our laundry detergent is made from Fels-Naphtha soap, Borax, and washing soda.  It works as well as any detergent available and the clothes get just as clean.  Plus it is not bad for the water or earth.

We all hope to pass a better world to our children and grandchildren.  As Christians, let’s plan on returning a world to God as close as we can make it to the way God made it.

Shalom, Darrell