It has mattered for my soul. Through the years I’ve slowly, very slowly, been urged, nudged and sometimes forced to consider how my many choices make an impact in the world, the community, my family, my soul.
Lights off. Buying less. Set the thermostat. Some of it is habit. Dad always, always reminded us to turn the lights off and the water off and the a/c off and the heat off when possible. You’re not in the room. It doesn’t need a light. You’re brushing your teeth not the sink? Turn off the water. How hot is hot enough to run the a/c? It’s cold? Put on a sweater and a pair of socks. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it or use it.
It was a good foundation to think about all the new things to think about. Lightbulbs. Recycling. Reusable shopping bags. Rain barrels. Compost bins.
It has made me consider how I am connected to the earth in a physical and spiritual way. I am not a formless soul floating and flitting about. I am embodied, living and breathing in contact with and in relationship with the earth. I do not believe the earth has a soul in the way you and I have a soul, but I believe that the earth and I am formed and created by the same God. We are connected by our Creator, and the whole creation does cry out. Out my window I can see some of the earth’s cries in shades of green, brown, white, yellow, pink, red, blue, and purple.
It matters because every week my church family and I pray,
“Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”
May my actions be not in response to cultural and social trends but to my God. Amen.
Kathy, all good. However, also be mindful that the environmental and social challenges that confront this planet are enormous and as Sharon Begley writes in new issue of Newsweek many of us have become “lazy environmentalists” opting for personal change rather than the messy business of working toward systematic change. For some details on the needed systematic change, I recommend Plan B 4.0 by Lester R. Brown and Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand.
Agreed, Frank. Systematic and systemic changes are needed, but don’t those require personal change to work with and toward those larger shifts in culture and practice? We need both/and not one or the other. Tonight my sons’ elementary school is hosting an environmental night. Imagine if out of one night (and a year of more intentional recycling and conversations about the environment) just 50 “lazy” but young environmentalists begin lives of significant change and perspective.