I believe that God has given us the privilege and responsibility to take care of creation. But why should we? What’s the big deal?
Often talking about care of creation brings out images like this of a polar bear mother and her cubs…
or like this of three zebras drinking water together…
or of this baby chimp and its mother (Its ok to say “Awwwh, its so cute”.)
And care of creation may also bring to mind images such as of this exotically far away Kenyan girl…
Yet creation care should also bring to mind people less exotic and closer to home like this crowd of people gathered for an American Idol audition…
And these people are people like you and me. We creatures are all part of creation. We rely on all of creation together to survive and thrive.
Now let us intelligent, spiritual, thinking and believing creatures view the creation we have the privilege and responsibility to care for from a different perspective.
Can you see it here?
How about a lot closer? It’s only four-billion (4,000,000,000) miles away – about 1 billion miles further away than the remote dwarf-planet Pluto visited by the New Horizons space probe July 14, 2015.
Let’s get a little closer… How about now? …
Maybe a little closer will let you make it out…
Or maybe a slightly different exposure…
Yes, it is our home planet. Earth. From remote perspectives -the farthest billions to 250,000 miles away – we can view a unique priceless gem floating on a velvet black backdrop. Nothing sparkles with light and life like it. There is NO Planet B anywhere else in sight.
For billions and billions of miles there is nothing like Earth in our Solar System. For at least 600 million billion (6.00 x 10^17) miles there is nothing confirmed to be habitable like Earth anywhere in our own Milky Way galaxy let alone for the 550 Trillion Billion (5.5 x 10^23) miles across the entire observable universe.
So, why should we care for creation? Why is caring for creation and this planet in particular such a big deal? Because for now and the forseeable future, this is it. It is our home. It is an oasis in an otherwise trackless void of inhospitable extremes. This planet is God’s singular great gift to us for us to live, love and flourish.
And one of our gifts to God, to ourselves and to each other is to care for this gift of creation and in particular this small blue dot God has given us as home. Jesus’ summary of the law – to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves – requires it.
NOTES On The Perspective Pictures (all courtesy of NASA):
Perspective 0: The Milky Way Galaxy as envisioned by NASA.
Perspective 1: Earth, viewed from the interplanetary space probe Voyager 1, about 4 Billion Miles into space, is barely visible as a speck about halfway down the rightmost, mostly vertical, bar.
Perspective 2: Earth, viewed from the interplanetary space probe Cassini, about 900 million miles into space, is barely visible as a speck about halfway down in the center of the right half of the image.
Perspective 3: 1968 Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit some 250,000 miles away.
Perspective 4: 1972 Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit some 250,000 miles away.
Perspective 5: 1997 composite image featuring African continent was compiled from earth orbiting satellites.
NOTE: For the record one of the closer things to an exception, an “earth-size” planet, that researchers claim to have found is an Earth-mass planet 26,000 billion miles away. It orbits closer to its star than Mercury orbits our sun. Such a planet would offer, to say the least, an inhospitably warm welcome – were it ever possible to get there.