First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Pick it up.

February 8, 2017

    I wonder what the world would look like if all of its inhabitants would claim their responsibility to take care of it? All industries would operate with major safety measures to protect the soil, water, and atmosphere. All individuals would care for land and animal management. Recycling reusable materials would reduce the strain on the earth's natural resources. Humanity would not feel compelled to throw garbage out their car windows. Highways would not need volunteers to walk along picking up tons and tons of garbage every year.

    The other day, I went for a run around Recreation Park. The usual accumulation of garbage littered the trail. Some having blown down the hill from the busy highway above and other refuse having been thrown there by park visitors. Grrr!!  Upon completing the run, I walked around the pick-up catching my breath and drinking some water. As I cooled down a bit, I saw this and immediately heated right back up!  Right in the main pathway of the parking lot were many shards of glass that needed to be removed.

    Some days, it feels as though the world has entirely lost its way. Inconsiderate, ignorant, and discourteous folk seem hellbent to turn this home of ours into a dump. Not just in the accumulation of garbage but with words and despicable actions.  It is probably already there. I forlornly walked back to the vehicle and searched for some plastic bags to hold the broken glass bottle. One lady walked by and I'm sure she wondered what I was doing. On the other hand, she may have been lost in her own little bubble and could care less. Not sure which one was the case.

    I thought of all the mom's walking their children in strollers around the park. I thought of all the kids on bikes enjoying the safety of this wonderful community resource. I thought of how much I enjoy running here and then I wondered who thought it was okay to break the glass bottle and leave it behind for someone else to deal with. Suffice to say, if I had found out who did it, they would have required surgery to remove it. Grrr.... Sorry for not sounding pastoral....not sorry though.

    "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."          

            (Genesis 2:15, NIV)

Friends, it is up to us. Don't assume when you drop litter on the ground that some borough employee gets paid to pick trash off the streets and park properties. Don't walk past messes that need cleaned up. We are all responsible to care for our earth. It isn't a suggestion but a command of God. Unless we figure this small detail out, we'll be wallowing around an earth that resembles the pig sty back on our family farm. The difference between the sty then and our world now is that the hogs actually enjoyed the swampy mud and slop. 

    If you throw garbage onto the ground, Stop it!  If you didn't throw garbage onto the ground but see it laying all over, stop and pick it up. God has commissioned us to be caretakers of this place, so we ought to step up our game. It requires our faithfulness to Genesis 2:15.

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