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Sustainability

Stewardship, the Creation Story, and every green plant

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Stewardship, the Creation Story & every green plant

 

Last week I was asked by someone to explain my lifestyle and honestly, I don’t think I did a terrific job. Which makes me think that I need to work on my elevator pitch when the situation arises again. Why am I trying to change my lifestyle habits and why do I care and why did I even start this blog? To answer this, we have to go back. Not to 2017 when I first started AFOG, but back to Genesis.

in the beginning…

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day.” — Genesis 1:29 - 31

The more time I spend in nature and the more I learn about it, the more amazed I become. Not that you should make life decisions based on your feelings and what things appear to be, but as an artist, I find it impossible to separate creation — every green plant, every living creature — from a creator. To me, it’s apparent that there’s intelligence and intentionality and care and design and mathematics and brains behind some of nature’s greatest hits!

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Biomimicry (emulating nature (its systems and design) to solve human problems) is a great and humbling example of how we’re just trying to keep up. There’s a meme (perhaps it was a profound saying once upon a time) that says: “Does life imitate art? Or does art imitate life?” I think it’s both. But when you look at art history, so much of what humans have tried to do is imitate life. From palaeolithic cave paintings to classical Greek sculptures (which the Romans later copied!) to Art Nouveau, we’ve been documenting, recreating, mimicking, expressing, and enjoying creation since the beginning of time.

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Side note: Adam was the one to name all the animals, not God. “He [God] brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.” I find this fascinating but it also makes sense that Adam, the keeper and caregiver, would be the one to name the animals since they were his responsibility. Another side note: before the Fall, both Adam and Eve and the animals were vegan! Sounds weird and weirdly jarring to say that, but eating meat was prohibited till Noah’s time. (“Everything that lives and move about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” — Genesis 9:3)

a good steward

Back to why sustainability matters to me: simply because I want to be a good steward with the resources that have been given to us.

Stewardship: 1. the position and duties of a steward, a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc. 2. The responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving

I believe that the earth and everything glorious and terrifying on it ultimately belongs to God, but for now, humans are in charge. We are accountable and we are responsible for our planet.

Even though we’ve been poor stewards as of late and collectively destroyed a lot, there’s still so much worth protecting. And for me, I’ve personally decided that I am both willing and able to afford my time and resources to pursue this particular lifestyle. Within my power I want to do all that I can, and leave the rest to God. This planet, these resources, these hands, this body, all belong to Him.

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And since it’s Easter and it’s a good day, I’ve gotta end this post on a positive note and what is more positive than a photo of a double rainbow and a promise.

“I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” — Genesis 9:11 - 13

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