Caring for Creation
While driving to a friend’s home in the heart of Ohio’s Amish community one morning, I found myself caught in a traffic jam of horse-drawn buggies. The three buggies ahead of me—one of them an open carriage—carried passengers dressed in their Sunday best. I didn’t have the audacity to pass them and cause a cloud of road dust to settle on them. They were on their way to worship, and I was going to participate with them.
As I crawled along the narrow gravel road at speeds less than five miles per hour I took in the delightful scenery of the picturesque countryside. The rolling hills of Holmes County, Ohio, are home to the largest Amish settlement in the world. Flowers were everywhere, a trademark of the Amish appreciation for beauty. The neatly kept farms across the hillside carried the trademark of Amish industry.
I have made some acquaintances among the Amish in recent years. I have learned that most Amish people prefer farming to other vocations. They believe in caring for the soil, both through beautiful fields and colorful gardens. I have learned that for them the newborn calf, the freshly plowed soil, and the ripening grain are manifestations of God’s power. They possess a profound sense of stewardship to care for God’s creation.
What at most other times would have been an irritation to me became a refreshing encounter that Sunday morning. My eyes and my attention were diverted from the speedometer to a reflection of God’s bountiful gifts to His creation and to a community’s recognition that they were stewards of this creation. Here were people who were intense in their commitment to be faithful to the blessings of God. Here were some of God’s honorable stewards.
God was reminding me to be a more responsible caregiver to the world that He has called “good.”
“The earth belongs to God! Everything in all the world is his!” (Psalm 24:1, TLB).
By Raj Attiken
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