“In the beginning, God …” Those are the first four words of the Bible. Those are the words that matter most because those are the words upon which everybody’s world view is based. God is or He isn’t. Believers and nonbelievers see the world and everything in it from opposite vantage points.
Today I heard a Sustainability professor say that the greatest negative impact on our environment is having children. I was stunned by such a statement. She said that economic activity and growth are also leading to the destruction of our environment. In other words, she believes that human beings are enemy to the earth and that prosperity and success will doom us. She is a young woman engaged to be married, has worked hard and attained her goal of becoming a professor. Her whole life is ahead with amazing and wonderful possibilities, but her worldview paralyzes her. She is hesitant to enjoy the fruits of her labor and even chooses to forgo becoming a mother because she fears that improving her standard of living and bringing another human being into the world will cause irreversible damage to our environment.
What a depressing world view.
I believe those first four words and the Genesis account of Creation. I believe that God created the world and everything in it as a gift to man to enjoy, to take care of, and to populate (Genesis 1:28), and the idea that man can actually destroy the earth or the environment sounds quite pompous to me. Certainly man’s carelessness damages parts of our world, but we are incapable of destroying it. Man is not that powerful. While God expects us to be good stewards of natural resources, they are here for our use, enjoyment, and to make life better for us.
Here is the main difference in the ways that these two world views manifest: Nonbelievers see harm and danger everywhere. They live in the world of No, and their message is always negative, all about things we must not do. We must not eat the food we want, must not drive the cars we like, must buy bottled water because ours is contaminated, must not go outside because the air is polluted, we must not use electricity or gasoline, and the list goes on and on to the point that now they believe that human beings are the enemy of the earth.
In contrast, as a Believer, I live in the world of Yes, and everyday I wake up glad to be alive and expecting each day to be better than the one before. Walking outside I love the warmth of the sun shining on my face and arms and smile with the knowledge that it is manufacturing Vitamin D in my body. Taking a deep breath of cool morning air invigorates me. Drinking a cup of coffee made from my tap water, I look over my To Do list and then use electricity to power the appliances to clean my house before getting into my big comfortable SUV with my grandson and driving to the store to buy a juicy steak for supper. Yes, I will grill it outside using real smoking charcoal.
So privileged we are to live in this wonderful world with such magnificent resources; let us enjoy our blessings.