Monday, August 23, 2010

Live Simply That Others May Simply Live!

by Dr. Dennis Herman

It’s tomato season again. This year I have again fought drought and deer to have a few tomatoes to harvest. My tomato plants are, again this year, in my front yard. It’s the only sunny spot in my yard and I am convinced that it is more important that I grow some food, no matter what the neighbor’s say about “Dr. Herman’s front yard, overgrown veggie patch.”

Why fill the yard with vegetables rather than petunias? For one, I want to remember where my food comes from. And I want all the kids on my street to see that food actually grows on plants and just doesn’t “appear” in the produce department. I am hopeful that the kids on my street (unlike the young clerk at the supermarket where I shop) will someday know the difference between a tomato and a turnip.

I am defying my professional yard “fertilizers” and going to a natural lawn care service. I am attempting to eat less meat because the way our meats are raised and processed tend to, well, turn my stomach. I don’t like the fact that poultry cannot breathe or even walk where they are raised, or that beef is injected with any number of hormones and antibiotics, or pork is...well, you get the picture.

No, I’m not a rabid animal “rights” person, or a tree-hugging environmentalist, or a fanatic about every health fad that comes along. But I am seriously trying to understand “Christian stewardship” as being about more than giving to the Church. It’s about how we treat our earth, our animals, our humans, and our food and water sources.

I believe some resources of our earth are limited and others, while limited, are replenishable. I believe there may just be enough food and resources for all of us if some of us don’t mess it up or use it up! And I believe that good stewardship calls me to live simply that others may live.

This is a counter-cultural idea and you may not agree. But if you can’t get any tomatoes or basil, come by my house. I don’t mind sharing.

Dennis Herman is the senior Pastor of Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. He will be retiring next week. This article originally appeared in the church newsletter, Greystone Today.

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