The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. Genesis 2:14 NLT
I thumbed through the pages of the Scout handbook, looking for an activity.
When he was a Cub Scout, my next-to-the-oldest grandson had to complete a number of requirements to receive his first badge—officially making him a Tiger Cub. Beyond that, many other activities existed for him to earn slides, badges, and other merits.
With his first badge under his belt, I looked for other things I could help him with. I came across planting a tree. For several months, I had watched a potted mimosa and crepe myrtle tree lounging on the back patio. They needed to go into the ground.
I called my grandson from his video games, and we went outside, gathered the pot, and secured the posthole diggers. After digging the hole for him, I had him help me put the trees in the ground. I knew my wife and I would probably not be around to enjoy the shade from these trees, but someone would.
After planting the trees, I talked with my grandson about what trees do for us and how important they are. We learned about God’s cycle of life. Trees give off oxygen—what we breathe to survive. We give off carbon dioxide—what trees and flowers need to live. I smiled when I saw the smile cross his face. We were helping to tend the world.
Thousands of years ago, God commanded the first human to tend a garden. How large the Garden of Eden was, we don’t know, but Adam’s responsibility involved taking care of it.
The fact that God will one day create a new heaven and earth doesn’t exempt us from our responsibility to care for the present earth. In fact, many scholars think God’s future creation will be a recreation, not a completely new one. The more we care for the present one now, the less God will have to do later.
My wife and I have attempted to help in small ways. We recycled, even though it was sometimes aggravating to separate the items and push the large can to the end of our subdivision once every two weeks. I pick up litter in our area. We avoid putting harmful substances into the ground. When we had the space, we planted a small garden and enjoyed the produce. We care for the possessions God allows us to have.
God still expects us to care for our earth and to teach others to do the same. Our garden now is much larger than Adam’s, but all of us working together can keep it clean and healthy.
What are some ways you can help preserve your “garden?”
Prayer: Father, show us how You want us to tend Your garden.
Tweetable: Are you tending the world?
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