Greta Thunberg has challenged the world, again, the 16 year old girl from Sweden who is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome has stood tall and brave and called us out on our complacency, our addictions to money, and power, and called us to save the planet. Speaking to world leaders she spoke of her hopes and dreams being dashed, and called again for a cut in carbon emissions, as she and a group of 12 young people delivered a complaint to the UN.
She certainly woke me up, the call to change requires more than sharing her speech on Facebook, though I have, it calls me to a deeper change, one I began in part, but know that I am actually not that good at! Convenience is easy, I use too much plastic, I drive when I could walk, there are many changes I could make by doing very little to change in reality, and while I say that my change is a drop in the ocean it is a drop, and if we all did that and spoke out it would make a real difference.
Changing the way that I live requires more of me though, it requires a heart decision, an attitude check, a planet honouring decision to practice what I preach, a new way of looking at things. On Sunday I preached on Matthew 6: 25-34, which in The Message version begins with the words “IF you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on your table at meal times, or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion.” I have to reflect that that IF is a big IF, and ask myself if I do that, am I living in a way that honours the creator or not? Right now I think that the answer is mostly or not. That challenges me, it challenges me to wake up to my complacency, to my laziness and to my addictions, I tend to say that I am not materialistic, but I know I am, I don’t really see the culture that I am “swimming in” because I am so used to being a part of it, a part of just needing that book ( it is often books), or that thing, I am terrible at planning meals and do throw food away. There are changes I can make, must make, and a call to simpler living that quite simply celebrates life.
Life needs to be celebrated, this call to change is not really onerous, it simply requires a change of seeing and being, jetting off on holiday, or in my case normally driving when I could take the train could be changed, I opt for convenience. I will say that I do need my car, but the temptation just to use it is definitely there, I wonder how many times I could/ should ask myself if I can walk…. I have a meeting about a food bank on Thursday, it will take me 40 minutes to walk there, with a pretty steep hill climb in either direction, one that usually makes me decide to drive, and yet on my days off with my camera I will happily tackle such a climb and more for fun!!! Also walking will get me out to see the communities I serve…. bit of a no brainer unless it is pouring with rain! Small things, one step at a time, as and when I can…
We all can, and it is a choice that we must make, and a truth we must join this young woman in speaking out about, lobbying our MP’s encouraging our communities, caring for the world and one another as we opt for a life of God-worship, taking time to consider not only the sparrow and the lillies, but the oceans and mountains, the rivers and forests that are essential for the life and wellbeing of the planet, take time to consider those we don’t see who are afflicted by flood, drought and famine, with whom we could share if we broke through our complacency, if I broke through my complacency and chose change!