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Why Should I Care?

June 22, 2015

written by Josh Yeoman

As you may have noticed in the news this week, Pope Francis addressed the subject of the environment head on with his encyclical on climate change. I highly encourage anyone to read the transcript. I am not going to attempt to tackle the issues Pope Francis raises in his encyclical. However, I would like to address one theme that seems to run throughout his address. The common issue that permeates his writing is a lack of care by people in regards to nature and the environment, which I believe is an important issue regardless of your position on the Pope’s other diagnoses.

It is truly difficult to care for something that we do not first know. This is true of many things, but I believe we can apply this notion specifically to the subject of our natural environment. Think of it this way: how well do you know your environment? Can you identify the species of birds outside your window? Do you know which vegetables are in season? What is the difference between a cirrus and a cirrocumulus cloud? These should be simple answers, but you would be surprised how many people would struggle to answer them today. I would bet these are easy answers for our grandparents (most definitely for our great grandparents).

It can be difficult to stay in contact with our natural environment in a society so used to the conveniences of modern technologies. I am not talking about viewing Instagram pictures of sunsets. I am talking about actually going outside and watching a sunset. Experiencing God’s beautiful creation WITHOUT the urge to constantly take pictures and share them with your friends is a wonderful thing. We spend a lot of time in virtual environments, and it is a challenge to disconnect from our own devices and re-connect with God’s creation. God did declare it good after all. So why do we not enjoy it more?

Student Activities Outdoor Recreation is one way you can connect to your natural environment at Liberty. Anyone who has been to Camp Hydaway or participated in any of our river trips can attest to the solace and pleasure there is in being outside. I invite you to participate with us as we seek to engage God’s beautiful creation!