Watched An Inconvenient Truth tonight. GO SEE IT. There’s good reason why environmental issues continue to be a part of the Social Studies curriculum. But I warn you, the documentary is alarming, overwhelming, and disconcerting, although Al Gore insists that we can all do something about reducing global warming. For some reason, I am not so optimistic. I worry that it is too late. And too hard for people to change.

Part of the great discomfort from watching the film is the idea that my lifestyle has got to change significantly to contribute to “making a difference.” Admittedly, I feel bothered by this idea because I am a creature of comfort, (unthinkingly) preferring convenience and prone (also unthinkingly) to ignorance that justifies convenience. But while the film served as an emotional and ethical wake-up call, the extreme bouts of heavy rain and snow that we experienced recently cannot make the effects of global warming more clear. I don’t think I need a Hurricane Katrina to convince me.

While I have given up the car (though originally for financial reasons rather than concern for the environment), I need to further examine what and how much I consume in my daily living, in light of what is more responsible to the environment. Because everything I consume or use requires energy to produce or run, I need to ask myself, “What is actually necessary? What can I do without or less of?” Aaaack, I don’t like being confronted with these inconveniencing questions! Also, how do I make different choices, when most options are not all that bothered about the environment? When most of the social, political, economic, and even cultural (I think certain Asian groups are some of the most environmentally unfriendly in the world!!) systems I am part of do not value the environment? Why should I care when “no one else” seems to care? Why bother if my decisions aren’t going to make a difference? I do lack faith in humans doing the right thing, which makes the problem seemingly so impossible to solve that carpe diem seems like the best way to go. Yeah! Irresponsibility!

But I sense the Spirit doing some convicting here and not letting me off the hook.

Clichéd phrases that remind us of our responsibility, such as having “concern for the environment” or being “environmentally friendly” don’t mean a whole lot to me. However, when taking care of the environment is regarded in terms of being a faithful steward of God, it’s very clear that this practice in living with the one life He gave me to live honours Him and blesses His creation. It’s part of worshipful living, worshipping the Creator of the universe. No wonder Brian McLaren has a chapter entitled “Why I am Green” in his Generous Orthodoxy.

Almighty God and Creator of heaven and earth, we have neglected your call to take care of your creation. We have made this planet sick, more than we know. Forgive us and change our hearts (especially us complacent North Americans!). While I worry that it is too late and doubt that change is possible, I will have to trust in Your intervention. Have mercy on us and redeem the way we live, the way we use our money, the way we spend our time, the way we simply consume for our own convenience without thinking about others. In Jesus’s name. Amen.