“Turn Off the Water, Mom!”

Monday, April 22 (Earth Day)

4-22By Janné Grover of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA

The earth, lovingly created as an environment for life to flourish, shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of human greed and conflict. Humankind must awaken from its illusion of independence and unrestrained consumption without lasting consequences.

—Doctrine and Covenants 163:4b

On a walk through the nearby park on a sunny day, I was struck by the awesomeness of God’s creation. I stopped and took a 360-degree view. I saw sunlight streaming through the colors of changing foliage. Squirrels were running and jumping between trees. I saw a fuzzy caterpillar crossing the path, birds in flight, and clusters of delicate, white wildflowers. I was filled with a sense of God’s presence. I paused for a few moments to soak it in and praise God for the gift of life and the fullness of creation.

As I continued on my walk, my thoughts of praise turned to disappointment as I saw trash lying on the path. I wondered why some people are so irresponsible. I shook my head with a sense of satisfaction, knowing I would not litter.

How self-righteous of me! I began to realize I have the luxury of deciding how I care for and use the natural resources at my disposal. Sure, I do what I can to recycle and practice environmental friendliness whenever possible. However, everything I do still allows me certain conveniences, and nothing I do moves me beyond what is easy and comfortable. I know when I turn on the faucet that I will have clean water. And if I choose, I can spend as much time as I want in a hot shower—carelessly wasting water.

One Community of Christ Enduring Principle is Sacredness of Creation. I am thankful we live in a time when there is increasing awareness of pollution. Local and global efforts are made to become better stewards of our natural resources. I am pleased my kids are learning good practices at school and at church and are holding me accountable for letting the water run too long.

I now pick up trash on my walk instead of shaking my head in frustration and judgment of the carelessness of others. It may not make a huge difference in the global picture, but planting small seeds of change can lead to good effects for all creation.

Prayer for Peace
Creator of Earth, may we show gratitude for this life-giving planet by how we care for it. Help us end conflict and greed that destroy habitats. Lead us in the way to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Caring for God’s Sacred Creation
Choose a way to notice, give thanks, and care for God’s sacred creation. Prayerfully consider one of the following practices or create your own. Walk in nature with a spirit of gratitude while looking and listening for God in all things. Write or pray a psalm of praise for the Earth’s beauty or a prayer of healing and blessing for its wounds. Give thanks.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will turn off the water and leave more to share.

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1 Comment

  1. Adele

     /  24 April 2013

    I have memories of walking along Daytona Beach, FL, and being absolutely disgusted at the litter I found there, including thousands of cigarette butts constantly being washed out and back with the tide. The next night I took a plastic shopping bag with me, and filled it with the larger littered items, emptying into the provided bins and refilling the bag and bins with the litter being removed from the beach. Not such a relaxing walk that night, but as it was at the beginning of the holiday, I was then able to enjoy my walks the remaining nights without having my visual senses assaulted by the litter. May we all make our small contributions so that we can see and focus on the beauty of the earth as we take our rejuvenating walks!

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