God has given us this amazing world and has asked us to be attentive stewards of it
When was the last time you stood in awe at the beauty of creation?
This is a question we should all ponder as we celebrate the September 1 “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.” This past Sunday Pope Francis reminded Roman Catholics about the day by saying; “[on Thursday] we will celebrate the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and other churches. It will be an occasion to reinforce our common efforts to protect life, respecting the environment and nature.” He said last year when he established the annual celebration, “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
Our sense of wonder with creation greatly impacts how we view the natural world around us and whether we are enamored or annoyed by it. Unfortunately in the past 200 years we have chosen to neglect our essential vocation of earthly stewardship because we have viewed creation as an obstacle instead of a beauty to behold.
The created world “gets in the way” of our modern comforts and must be “subdued.” This results in urban planning that completely destroys the local environment and paves the way for an artificial landscape devoid of any natural life.
This viewpoint has also labeled unborn children as “burdens” instead of “gifts of God,” resulting in a complete disregard for life in all stages.
It appears as if we have lost our awe and wonder with creation that would temper modern desires for progress.
As an experiment, make it a point this next month to awaken an appreciation of our “common home” by setting aside time to visit places of natural beauty. When you are there, remind yourself that God has given this amazing vista to you and has asked you to be an attentive steward of it.
To give you a head start, here are five activities to plan out that will help reignite a healthy sense of wonder with the world God has given us.