The crew of the Starship Enterprise is trapped on a planet where every wish is granted, where every convenience is available. It’s a gilded cage, but still a cage. Captain Kirk wants off (Yes, that’s actor William Shatner who is apparently on someone’s short list for Canada’s new Governor-General) but the robots who have taken him captive feel that humans shouldn’t be allowed to run the universe; they are far too flawed to be trusted with such a responsibility.
Pretty smart robots.
April 22 celebrated Earth Day. The movement’s official website made this astonishingly frank statement: “Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever.” Uh-ha, what’s wrong with this picture? No improvements at all? Sadly, the robots were right; we are too flawed to be trusted with such responsibility. The problem is that God gave us the task to care for His creation.
Psalm 8 says: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him…You make him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.”
My commitment to taking better care of my environment lacks panache. I have good intentions, but my carry-through is not so wonderful. It appears I am not alone. That failure reminds me again that the crisis in creation is a living (or dying) example of the need for redemption and our incapacity to fix what we’ve broken. We don’t even have the will, let alone the might. Paul writes in Romans: “…the creation was subjected to frustration…has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time…we ourselves…groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our…redemption” (Romans 8:20, 22, 23 NIV).
The nasty truth is that all our efforts (and we should make them) will be fruitless in the end. Redemption belongs to the Lord—redemption of the soul and redemption of the planet. The good news is that redemption is sure: “the creation will be liberated from it bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God…for in this hope we were saved” (Romans 8:20, 24 NIV).