By Brandon Case
Pratt columnist [email protected]
In this season of Thanksgiving, have you ever considered being thankful for the earth and its bounteous blessings?
God created the earth for our benefit, but that doesn’t mean we own it. We are simply stewards, or caretakers, of this gift. We can all be considered gardeners who cultivate our small chunk of earth and then, hopefully, do all we can so that this yields a bounty and beauty for the benefit of all.
Our planet was meant to be a beautiful place and, I believe, God is displeased when we do anything to make it less so. Not throwing litter upon the earth is a simple way to show gratitude for His creation. Another way to demonstrate our thanks to God is by handing the land over to the next generation in even better shape than when we inherited it. Over the years I have known many persons, including farmers and ranchers, who follow this philosophy.
As Westerners we (myself included) need to be reminded not to use the resources of the earth to excess. Living in a wealthy country like ours does not give us a license to consume more than we need. The resources of the earth are finite and should be available for all people.
Pollution—in its various forms—can leave an ugly stain upon our planet, not to mention its potential for harming humans and wildlife. Who wants to live in a polluted world, one which is out of balance and unsafe for any of God’s creations? Not me. I believe that all creatures (including humans) that reside on the earth are interconnected. If we make choices about the earth now that are guided by greed or indifference, it will come back to haunt us one day.
The beauty of nature reminds me that there is a God in heaven. Spending time regularly communing with unspoiled nature can help anyone to rekindle a connection with the Creator. Let’s keep our wild places wild and untainted so future generations have an opportunity to experience this spiritual connection.
Here is the first verse and a chorus to a favorite hymn. Perhaps you will sing it this Thanksgiving.
“For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, / For the love which from our birth / Over and around us lies. [Chorus] Lord of all, to thee we raise / This our hymn of grateful praise.”
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