Thursday, June 14, 2012

Must Become Less

When people were pointing out to John the Baptist that Jesus was gaining popularity, he replied "He must become greater, I must become less."

For some reason, when I hear this verse, I start thinking of sustainability. I think of countries that are poorer than mine and how, if we are to all live on this earth long-term (instead of starting off-planet colonies), the world needs to reduce its consumption as a whole.

There is a website that measures how many earths would be needed if everyone lived like me (or you). How Many Earths Quiz. Now I don't think I am too shabby in the living sustainably...until I take the quiz. Personally, humans would need 5.46 earths if everyone lived like I did. I only exceeded the US average in one category (apparently our food is really taking a lot of resources). That's with Lucas and I rarely eating out, with home-cooked meals with food bought from Aldi's, with unplugging appliances that aren't used, with having a (small) garden, with thrift shopping, with using some more "green" light fixtures, with keeping our house 65 degrees in the winter & 80 degrees in the summer, with recycling pop cans & cardboard & paper.

Nonetheless, we drive two cars, we do turn on the a/c and heat, we do use a washing machine & dryer (despite the clothes line outside), we do ignore the other trash that we don't recycle, we do occasionally eat out, we do have 3 computers in our two-person household.

Lucas and I will be moving to another country (by the grace of God). When we move, I expect to learn just how many conveniences I had back here in the US.

What does this have to do with John's response? I am an average American; there are those who live much more extravagantly, with a much larger number of earths needed if everyone lived that way. God cares about the poor, the orphaned, and the widowed. If I want these people God cares about to be out of poverty, but there's no more resources to give them what I have while keeping what I have, I must decrease my consumption, so that theirs can increase. I can make do with less, so they can have more.

I know, I know. You worked hard for your money and for your stuff. But when did stuff become more important than people? Americans have a very high standard of living, but sometimes, that makes it hard to distinguish needs from wants. We are stewards of the earth, but when the end of the world occurs, I think we're gonna give a broken earth back to God.

Does our lifestyles suffer when we eat homemade foods? Our waistlines don't.
Are we deprived when we find a deal at a yard sale or thift shop?
Do our relationships suffer when we consume less tv, less internet, and less movies?
Does a slower pace through life destroy the journey?

2 comments:

  1. When we look at how little the majority of the world has, we are very rich indeed. Mom

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    Replies
    1. Quite true. Makes you wonder how to help.

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