Bible Studies Devotional Praise and Worship By Susan Niswonger / last month Share Tweet Pin Share Yesterday was Earth Day. There were celebrations all over the world to increase the awareness of our responsibility to the environment and its preservation. My sister reported that she ate at a restaurant that served food in the dark, the grocery store was promoting the use of canvas bags and many trees were planted. I found many of the celebrations amusing and a little hypocritical. President Obama flew in Air force One, burning thousands of gallons of fossil fuel to “sell his energy policy.” Other’s purchased “carbon credits” to soothe their conscience as they heated their mansions and rode in their limousines to local celebrations. Like most Christians and Conservatives, I believe that God created the earth for his greatest creation, Mankind. Man was told to tend the earth and have dominion over it. The dictionary defines the word “tend” as to look after; watch over and care for. “Dominion” is the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority. I believe that God gave us sovereign authority over the earth. It is for our benefit and pleasure. With authority comes the responsibility to look after, watch over and care for this wonderful gift. The problem is some have exchanged their dominion for worship. As a teenager I fell in love with a wonderful young man. As our relationship progressed, we realized we wanted to be together forever. As a token of his love and a promise of wonderful things to come, Steve presented me with a beautiful engagement ring. I was so proud of the ring that I never wanted to take it off of my finger. I showed it to everyone, cleaned it and kept it safe. The ring, however, was not the object of my affection. It would have had no meaning without a relationship with my Beloved. God has given us a beautiful gift called the earth. It is a gift to His bride and a promise of all the wonderful things He has in store for those who love Him. The Bible tells us He has given us just the “earnest” of our inheritance. As possessors of the gift we are to care for it, protect it, and keep it clean; but how foolish to put it in a box and not enjoy such a wonderful gift. I think God looks down with a smile when we plant a tree, smell a flower, run barefoot through the grass and taste the ocean’s salt on our lips. He loves it when we enjoy the special engagement gift He has bestowed upon His bride. How it must grieve the heart of God, however, when the gift becomes more important to us than the giver; when we want to become “one with the earth” instead of seek a closer relationship with our groom. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” I am so thankful I didn’t just settle for a pretty little ring 33 years ago. Although the ring has lost some of its luster, the relationship has blossomed into a beautiful life of love and trust. It would be equally imprudent of me to place all of my hopes, dreams and affections on one of God’s gifts, when I can be married to the Giver and partake of all of His riches. How did I celebrate Earth Day? I took some time to thank the Creator for His wonderful creation.