Raising children has given me such perspective on the issue of our taking care of the world around me. I have made great strides with Sydney as a preschooler to teach her that God made the world and everything in it (Acts 17:24a.) and that He has asked us to take care of it (Gen 1:26.) This is why we conserve water by brushing our teeth and not letting the water run. This is why we take our plastic bags back to Publix to recycle. This is why we color on both sides of our paper. I admit, I have a long way to go in certain areas of doing more for the environment (I love water bottles!) But, it has become a spiritual issue for me. I cannot walk around in defiance and ignorance. I CAN contribute to taking better care of the world around me. I need to learn to do it better and I want my kids to grow up understanding that this is important. So whether "green is your thing" or not, you can't ignore it that you can make a contribution to taking better care of God's world.
One of my favorite hymns was written by Maltbie D. Babcock in 1901.
While a pastor in Lockport, New York, Babcock liked to hike in an area called “the escarpment,” an ancient upthrust ledge near Lockport. It had a marvelous view of farms, orchards, and Lake Ontario, about 15 miles distant. It is said those walks in the woods inspired these lyrics. The title recalls an expression Babcock used when starting a walk: “I’m going out to see my Father’s world.”
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!
This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I open my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.
This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.
This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.