Hitched to Creation

BIP 048On Sunday I shared with you some thoughts from Leonard Sweet’s book, Out of the Question…Into the Mystery, and noted how he makes some bold claims there concerning the Christian’s relationship with Creation.  Here is another one of his bold claims: “Our relationship with God by necessity includes our relationship with all that God created.  If the creation joins in praising God and joins in the sufferings of Jesus, how can we disregard the importance of what God has created?  If we are not in right relationship with God’s creation, then we are not in right relationship with God.”  Sweet concludes this discussion by saying, “If we love God, we have to also love what God has made.”

It would indeed help us to contemplate the idea of being in relationship to Creation.  Even better would be to consider what it means to be in a good relationship with Creation.  All of us, whether we realize it or not, are in a relationship with Creation.  As John Muir pointed out long ago, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”  What is important for us is to make sure our relationship with Creation is a good and healthy one.

BIP 982The Bible talks a lot about relationships and indicates that, ideally, love should be the basis of our relationships with others.  I would argue that this includes our relationship with Creation.  Just as Christians are called to love God and love others, we are also expected to love Creation.  In the Scriptures love is not some sentimental feeling; it is, in fact, more about actions than feelings.  Love is something we show, something we demonstrate.

If love is going to be the basis of our relationship with Creation it means we must respect the earth and show concern for it by doing everything we can to preserve and protect it.  Loving Creation will mean we spend time getting to know that which God has made and hopefully also spending time in its presence.  If we are to love Creation we will certainly not take it for granted or do anything that will harm it.  If we truly love Creation we will never forget “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalms 24:1)

How would you describe your relationship with Creation?  If Sweet is correct (and I believe that he is) then the answer to this question will reveal much about your relationship with God.  I sure hope it’s a good one.


(I took the two images above last week at Breaks Interstate Park in Virginia.)