Have you ever given thought to how wonderfully built things are in their natural state? When we look at what’s now called the United States, we see a network of rivers, streams, forests, mountains that is in place to nourish the land. Every piece has its place. Amazingly, some pieces were created to ramble and roam, for example, the Mississippi river. It journeys from the northern tip of the country to the point where it drains into the Gulf of Mexico. Even though it encroaches on the territories of other geographical pieces, it does so as if it were invited to do so to bring its nourishment to those areas. The river’s trek from north to south is by no means an intrusion at any point along its carved path.
All pieces, all parts of nature have their place, a place divinely appointed for them. These pieces bring balance to the whole, a natural balance. Then there’s humankind. Humankind steps onto a stage of perfect balance and tries with its presumed intelligence, superiority to shift the natural balance, seeking a new balance designed to satisfy our needs and desires.
The recent climate change conference in Glasgow on 31 October through 12 November, where far too little was accomplished is evidence that we haven’t been operating in our place. I want to be clear. I do believe the earth and all her resources are here for us to harvest in our quest to improve the quality of life on the planet; however, we should be doing so in concert with nature. If we look back at the 20th Century, we see more technological advances than at any century prior. There was also more damage to our global environment than at any point in history. Oftentimes, we think climate change is a recent phenomenon, raising its ugly head during the last century, but climate change was one of the factors that contributed to the fall of the Roman, according to: Dr. Kyle Harper, Vox: Six ways climate change and disease helped topple the Roman Empire, November 4, 2017. Rome as it trapsed around the world, adding territory and citizens to boot, operated outside of its place. I suppose there’s no such thing as harmonious colonization. Look at the mess the Europeans and American left on the African continent over a four-hundred-year period.
Operating in our place doesn’t mean that we can’t go into another neighborhood, another state, another country, another continent. The challenge for us (humankind) is can we do so like the Mississippi River before we engineered it to meet our needs. Can we gently go into a place, not like a steamroller, and operate under a win-win scenario, getting and giving while ensuring that all things are left in balance. Shouldn’t our place be to epitomize good stewardship, not create disaster that wreaks havoc on all that we touch?
We’re all blessed to be living during a time when the world has gotten much smaller. As soon as I post this blog, it will be available for anyone who wants to read it, anywhere in the world. We are now in the infant stages of stretching our hands into space with visions of colonizing Mars sooner than most of us can fathom. Technology has given us an enormous increase in our quality of life, but at what cost to the generations that are already here to receive its inheritance.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.