I don’t really know how to go about saying this. I’ve dropped some fairly big things in the past, but this one is different. This is more about choices and actions, so with those come some guilt and shame.
I’m the type that is compelled to give background and context around this sort of thing. Maybe, the more I type, it just feels a little buried in words and letters and not so jarring. Maybe, because after all of this build-up, it won’t seem like such a big deal. Or, maybe it’s just that I want to be understood since we are removed from tone and facial expression.
As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I grew up in a fairly strict Christian conservative home. Talk of the end times was frequent and normal. I was taught that Armageddon was around the corner, and if it wasn’t in my lifetime, it would be in the next generation. I was taught that Heaven was in another dimension and that there was no need to conserve the planet. In fact, that those who were conservationists were actually worshiping the earth rather than God, and were thus going to hell unable to enjoy their planet that they worked so hard to “save”. I remember thinking that if I actually made Earth worse, that it would speed the second coming of Christ, so if I littered and didn’t recycle, wasted water, etc., then I was actually doing good.
Those lessons were deeply ingrained into my soul. I would see Green Peace or the Sierra Club or just people “obsessed” with recycling and think that they were foolish, wasting their time, and that they were “lost”.
When I moved to Chicago, I found that the Christian community I fell into was actually liberal and was amazed to find that made far more sense than the conservative ideology I had grown up with. I remember being at a friend’s house who directed me to the recycling bin which got me thinking why was I resistant to this? Then the more I studied the Bible, the more I realized that I should be taking care of the earth. We were called to be stewards, and then there’s that whole bit of Jesus reigning on earth for 1000 years. Now, I will say that there is a chance that is not literal, but on the chance it is, maybe it would be a good idea to conserve our resources and to not make the planet a landfill.
My confession is that I was a bad person to Earth. But, I’m working on becoming a better person. I love filling up our recycling bin. I like finding ways to save water. I find myself picking up trash when I’m outside. Whether it makes an impact on the planet or not, at least there will be beauty.