Day 3: Mission
Any time we focus on ethical issues—such as responsibilities to or values in the natural world—we have to address the big question of “why?!” Why should we care about the ocean, coral reefs, tropical rainforests, endangered species, or the well-being of animals? Perhaps other people are the only entities that matter. And perhaps this world of nature around us is headed for decay and obliteration anyway, and so we need not think too much about how we should treat it. Charlotte Mason, and most Christian naturalists today, espouse a different view, one based on the idea that part of our mission as human beings is stewardship.
Here is a reading and accompanying video that describe the stewardship perspective:
Video: “Do Christians Care About the Environment?” (6:22)
What do you think?
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced;
but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
-William Wordsworth (1815)