Martin Wiles: Tend the World
I thumbed through the pages of the Scout handbook, looking for an activity.
When one of my grandsons was in Cub Scouts, he had to complete several requirements before earning Tiger Cub status. Beyond that, many other activities existed for him to earn slides, badges, and merits.
With his first badge under his belt, I looked for other things I could help him do. I came across planting a tree. I had watched a potted mimosa and crepe myrtle tree that lounged on our back patio for several months. They needed planting.
I called my grandson from his video games, and we went outside, gathered the pot, and secured the posthole diggers. After digging the hole for him, he helped me put the trees in the ground. I knew my wife and I would probably never enjoy the shade from these trees, but someone would.
After planting the trees, I talked with my grandson about what trees do for us and how important they are. We learned about God’s cycle of life. Trees give off oxygen—what we breathe to survive. We give off carbon dioxide—what trees and flowers need to live. I smiled when I saw the grin cross his face. We were helping tend the world.
Thousands of years ago, God commanded Adam to tend His garden. We don’t know the size of the Garden of Eden, but Adam’s responsibility involved caring for it.
The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.~Genesis 2:14 NLT
Knowing God will one day create a new heaven and earth doesn’t exempt us from our responsibility to care for the present world. God’s future creation may be a recreation. The more we care for the present one, the less God will have to do later.
My wife and I have attempted to help in small ways: recycling, picking up litter, avoiding putting harmful substances into the ground, planting a garden, and caring for the possessions God gives us.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”~Genesis 1:26 NLT
God still expects us to care for our earth and teach others to do the same. Our present garden is much larger than Adam’s, but all of us working together can keep it clean and healthy.
Ponder some ways you can help preserve your “garden” and then start to tend.
Lord God, thank You for helping me to tend the ground. I count it a privilege to help preserve Your creation. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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