I’m a bit puzzled about what to write about Earth Day. I always have to start the Chaplain’s Corner article several times. The first false start yesterday was about Environmental Theology and used some academic resources from a seminary class long ago. At this point in the semester I don’t expect anyone to read academic work that isn’t required. I took a carbon footprint quiz and it told me what I already know, I should bike more (if I could balance on one of those), that I should eat less meat, that I should drive less, and that the avid recycling that we (but primarily my mother) do at our home makes a huge difference.
When I was little, Earth Day was a day to head to the park and play games and learn at little kiosks about water and recycling. Today it means teaching my kids to do better than I have and about the interconnectedness of the whole of Creation. There goes the theology again. This year I have paused to reflect and produced a prayer to share with you.
Holy Creator, I wonder with awe about the intricacy of Your work. The magnificent views are breathtaking and the microscopic anatomy fit together perfectly. I wonder how the complicatedness of creation balances so well with the simplicity. I wonder about the diversity of the oceans and the land, the mountains and the vast flatness, about the rain forests and glaciers. I wonder why the sand of the deserts and beaches seem so alike. I wonder about the sea creatures that live in deep trenches still waiting to be “discovered.” I wonder about the abundance of mosquitos.
I wonder about my own self. I am wonderfully made with fingernails and ears, with a brain and a heart. There are so many parts all working together, so many fluids and cycles and mysteries. I wonder about disease and cancer. I wonder about personality and creativity and mental health.
I give thanks for my own ability to think for myself and for my own ability to co-create. I confess that I live selfishly and use more resources than I need. I confess that I confuse likes and needs and that I get consumed by worldly goods and ambition and ego. I confess that I ignore the fact that all of creation is intertwined.
Creator, I look around and see just enough order and just enough mystery. I look around and balance seems possible. I pray for our Earth, for the magnificence of it and the vastness of universes beyond. May I give thanks for Creation every day and work with all of who I am to preserve it, to be a true caretaker, and celebrate its beauty. AMEN.
May you find a few moments to wonder about creation today and consider how your life might celebrate the Earth.