Honk if You Honor God's Creation
By: Susan Naslund
There are a number of religious bumper stickers on cars these days. For the most part, I think I understand their sentiments. There is one that says, "Warning: In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned," for those who suppose the world might come to an end while they are driving to work or the supermarket. Another one implores, "Honk if you like Jesus; text me if you want to meet him," to remind us of the dangers of cell phone usage while driving. Surely, you have also seen those window decals that say "Not of This World," or simply, "NOTW." The meaning of that one was not so obvious to me. So, I looked it up and found out that many Christians use this statement as a simple way to express the hope we have in eternal life with God. The statement comes from the New Testament book of John in which Jesus says the kingdom of God is "not of this world."
With all of the suffering that surrounds us here on earth, I get why many Christians say this life is not where we belong. Whether we enter another realm by meeting Christ midway in the air upon his return to earth (rapture) or upon the death of our physical bodies, the promise of communing with our loving God beyond this life sometimes seems like a better thing on which to focus than the pain we often endure now.
But, you know what? Right now we are all "in" this world. And, have you looked around lately? This place is pretty amazing. In the Genesis stories, we read that God created everything here -- the planets and stars, the land and the sea, the animals and us humans -- and saw that it was good. It is good in this world.
If you need something to remind yourself what is so wonderful about this life, I invite you to get out to the beach or the mountains and take a long look at the earth’s beauty. Hold an infant and breathe in the sweet smell of that baby’s hair. Spend an evening laughing with your best friends. And, if we notice that something is not right, we need to fix it. It is up to us to take care of our environment, to aid those who are hurting, and to mend our own broken relationships. It is up to us to make this a place we never want to leave. Our lives on earth will be over soon enough. What if we honor God by recognizing and nurturing all the goodness that was created for us in this life? Only then will we begin to see the kingdom of God in this world now.