I am all for being a good steward of the earth. God has instructed us to take care of His creation and I do the best that I can to obey. Our family recycles, watches our use of water and power(that is also because I watch the water and electric bill!) and we teach our children not to litter. If we lived in a city with a subway system, I would gladly avoid using our mini-van to travel around, but for now I just think twice before going off to run random errands.
However, it gets frustrating when the simple idea of taking care of the earth suddenly becomes a political movement to put the fear of the world ending in our hands. It happens so gradually, but somehow the worship of the Creator becomes the worship of creation.
I have noticed this happening with the latest shows that our kids watch. Abby was thrilled to finally receive the new Thumbalina movie. I thought it would be cute, since it was a story from when I was a little girl. While the new version of the movie is nice and non-violent, I was struck by the subtle environmentalist tone throughout the story.
Thumbalina and her little friends are trying to save their flower patch from the evil destruction of the business who wants to build a skateboard factory. Thumbalina convinces the daughter of the business owners to change her parent's minds. During the intense race to the construction site to stop the destruction being done by the extremely mean construction worker, they get stuck in traffic. The daughter becomes the hero when she pulls out her bicycle and peddles to the park to save the day.
Does anyone else see the symbolism here or is it just me?
The irony was not lost on Nick yesterday. He was driving home with the kids and got stuck in traffic on the highway (apparently our city finds Saturdays the ideal time to shut down a major highway to one lane). Abby asked him if they were in traffic and when he glanced in the rearview mirror to answer her, low and behold, there was her bike in the back of the van. I believe a small part of him wanted to tell her to take out the bike and save the day!
It is not just with this one movie. The channels that I trust are safe for the kids, like Noggin, Nick Jr. and PBS Kids, all have this agenda in their ads and sometimes the shows themselves. One ad on Noggin (the channel that technically does not have commercials) shows a cartoon of the earth who has a friendly face, while the voiceover is telling us to love and take care of her because it is she we adore.
Again, taking care of the earth is a good thing. But, "adoring her" is not. How slowly and carefully the distinction between the two can become cloudy.
As we sang in church today, "This is my Father's World, I rest me in the thought, of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; His hands the wonders wrought."