Sunday, March 8, 2009

How it Began

I was asked to write a little bit about how I started this green lifestyle thing and I wanted to share with you all what I wrote. If it isn't published or shown to anyone else---I want to share it with you all. At the very least to thank those of you in my life for supporting me in this Green-venture!

Here it is:

When I was first approached to write about how I started this whole "green living" lifestlye my first thought was, I haven't done anything special to make a difference.
For one thing, I am FAR beyond perfect in what I like to call my green lifestyle. I take showers that are too long and have a weakness for fast food at times, but when I really started thinking about what I have done it did amount to something that has made a difference.

My Greening began in the summer of 2007 and from there it truly began to grow. I can tell you the moment I realized something was not right in this world and it look place at the dump. My husband and I had gone to the transfer station where you throw all your stuff to be taken to the dump to huge trucks. As I stood on the edge looking down at all the trash--some of it not really trash--I was floored. I stood there and thought, why do we do this? And where will it all go? Does it go away? Does it just disappear like I always thought it did?? Now 2 years later I think I have a better answer to all my questions while at the transfer station.
Things didn't happen overnight nor was it an easy transistion, but I do believe God placed His mighty hand on my eyes and opened them to a whole new way of seeing the world.

After the transfer station experience I had a friend mention that she was listening to Rob Bell on Podcasts and how he really challenged her. So I figured I'd listen to him as well. Funny thing was the first Podcast I heard was him teaching about how Christians are the most responsible for caring for the earth. I will admit I was a bit skeptical. I wasn't totally sold on the whole idea of "Environmentalism" because I had heard so many conflicting things in the media that I didn't know what to believe. He mentioned how a speaker Dr J Mathew Sleeth was coming to speak at their church and he had a book called Serve God Save the Planet. Immediately, I ran out to get the book where it thankfully was at my library. I read it in about 2 days just soaking in all it had to say about Christian stewardship of this great creation Earth God made for us.

After I finished the book and the remainder of Rob Bell's series on Christian's caring for the earth (my favorite sermon being "Green is the new Seatbelt") I was completely sold on the fact that God does care about how we treat his Creation and that Christians have a HUGE role in being good stewards for it. It was good and unsettling all at the same time.
For one, everything I researched online seemed to be so politically charged and environmentalist sure seemed to be pessimistic about the future. I wasn't looking for political lines to divide us on environmental issues--I wanted solutions and answers!

I drastically started changing how I lived my life and found that I liked it. I finally felt like I had a passion for something and a purpose in life. I had always done the easy stuff like had CFL light bulbs & recycled, but when I started to educate myself about things like conserving it was a whole new world for me. We started looking at how much waste we put out as a family, started being more mindful of how we use water and electricity and changing how we see the world around us as a whole.

It is hard at times though. Especially when it came to sharing my thoughts or feelings about environmental issues with other Christians. I found out right away how little many of the Christians care about environmental issues and how discouraging it is. I attempted to start a small group at my church doing a book study on Serve God Save the Planet, but only 2 people signed up. It was heartbreaking to realize that people did not share my feelings like Dr Sleeth or Rob Bell or God for that matter. It was truly eye opening.

One of the things I've learned through this is how you can't be selfish and love God's creation at the same time. I think that Christians want to care, but sometimes care more about themselves or their world then the world at large. Part of caring for God's creation is also caring for His greatest Creation---His People. I know personally I put on the blinders or filtered out the harsh images of starving childern in 3rd World Countries or people working in sweatshops to make my clothes. I did not want to see those things because I would have to look outside myself and care about someone else. It was a hard thing to accept and care about. It was easier to change a lightbulb.
But it isn't just about changing a light bulb, its about so much more then that. Its changing our way of thinking which in turn changes how we act and treat those around us--including the Earth. In Romans 12:2 it says, "do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
That was what I had to do to change my thinking about caring for God's creation---Renew my mind. It isn't easy and it takes time, but in the long run I can see how this is not only effecting myself, but my family, my friends and those around me. They all know I care about the Earth and its slowly changing them as well.

Which brings me back to what I originally said about how I sometimes feel like I haven't done anything significant in the world of Green, but I have. I changed myself and what I choose to do with all I have learned could be huge! Even if I only reach the small amount of people who know me---thats a huge ripple in the great pond of life. One tiny pebble might make a small splash, but the ripple effect is large and vast. And in the long run, if those around me and in my life make a small splash we all can make a lot of ripples in this world and maybe even create a Wave.

Would you like to join me in making that wave?
Come join us--I think you'll agree its worth the jump into the pond! ;)

3 comments:

Thankful Paul said...

Wishing you and yours much love, peace, and happiness!

The Young Family said...

Great post, and yes you have changed yourself, and the people around you. Although I'm not totally green here - I read your posts and maks some small changes - so, well you a changing the world.

Hope that made sense!!

Emily

Rachel Ann said...

Yes, yes, yes...

Come visit me! You can 'teach' me how to be green! :)