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What’s behind it all…

February 4, 2011

I recently had a friend comment on on here, asking if my passion for the natural/wholesome is simply a cause, or if it’s connected to me following Jesus.

Her Comment:

Hi Jess! I admire your passion for all things natural and wholesome! It would be so cool to hear your perspective on how God worked in you and brought you to this place. I have several friends/acquaintances who feel the same as you but I never get to hear the spiritual/biblical side of their experiences instead of it just sounding like a “cause.” even if it’s just a cause I highly respect it, just would love to see it more in the light of the gospel, since all of the people I know who live this lifestyle are Christians. I love your heart for the lifestyle and often feel too weak to even approach it! (even though v was purposefully born free of pain killers and unnecessary drugs in our case)

I believe God calls us to be good stewards and caretakers of the things he’s given us, the earth, our children, etc… so that is my main motivation behind all this, how to be a better wife, mother… etc. Basically, become more Christlike…

People recognize that Bible is full of ideas and instructions about relationships and being of good character… love your neighbor as yourself, look after widows and orphans, submit to one another, obey your parents, do not exasperate your children, love each other as I have loved you, manage your family well, turn the other cheek, in humility consider others above yourself

And I suspect most of my entries will have to do with developing and strengthening relationships, and being a person of good character…

How many people recognize that God also instructs us to care for all of creation, not just other people? Gen. 1:28-31 is when God gave humankind responsibility for the rest of creation.  I resonate with a lot of the ideas David Hulme writes about in Is God Green? and this excerpt from Vexing Verbs by Dan Cloer also strikes a chord:

Both physical and spiritual directives are embedded in the passage; but when one believes he can find the best path on his own, these directives are easily overlooked. In fact, the Hebrew word that is translated “dominion” in Genesis 1:28 describes rulership that is characterized by justice, equity, peace and the absence of oppression. Seldom if ever do such considerations come up in discussions of this verse. Nor have these features ever been fully evident in any human approach to dominion.

Yes, God has allowed humankind dominance of the Earth. No, the situation we find ourselves facing today was not the path intended. The instruction about dominance was not meant to result in the arithmetical course we have followed. Nor were we meant to gain leverage over other life on the planet through the creative power to subdue the elements.

The intention was a restoration that required the multiplication of a way of life. This way was to replenish the Earth, creating an environment that would allow humankind to learn the responsibilities entailed in being a special creation, made in the Creator’s image. Eating of the tree of life would have given us the power to submit to God, subdue our own tendencies toward selfishness and exploitation, and overcome a world in which these pulls existed. But we did not choose that tree. Rather, the fruit borne of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has been just the opposite: a world built on getting and profiteering, competition and corruption. We have created the “use it first before someone else gets it” approach. Then “throw it way and get another.” These are the ways of bondage and hopelessness.

But here’s the good news. The Bible promises that although in our human stubbornness we will bring the existence of life on Earth to the brink of extinction, God will provide rescue (Matthew 24:21–22). The “times of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21) are still ahead. In the meantime, our best course of action is to recognize the need for that restoration in our own lives and relationships today. We can still choose stewardship over exploitation, and as it was in the beginning, it is still our individual responsibility to do so.

Obviously, trying to make the whole world a better place is a task too great for one person. My hope is simply to be one part of a whole bunch of other parts working to be responsible for what we’ve been given. That is my aim. Start with myself.

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