So recently at uth@waratah we had another epic nerf war night. I tell no lie when I say it was the most awesome nerf assault course we have ever done. One of my youth leaders came down at midday on Friday to start constructing (and in some cases re-constructing) barriers and bunkers for the nerf war out of what I thought was at least a million boxes collected for the task.
The problem of course arose when after the said youth night, we still had a box pile of biblical proportions sitting in the Church alfresco area. Clearly someone would have rightfully complained if we did not clean up our mess at some point so I borrowed the keys to a friend’s big four wheel drive, put all the seats down and literally filled it to the roof with flattened boxes to take off to the tip, a-hem, I mean, the ‘waste management centre’ to be recycled.
I’m not often at the tip. In fact it’s the first time I have been to the Mandurah one, probably because I’m not an avid gardener and therefore I never have get rid of trailer loads of sawn tree branches.
I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.
Well of course there was heaps of rubbish, but it was a certain pile that really made me think: white goods and electrical/technical waste.
I simply couldn’t believe the virtual tower of Babel consisting of old fridges, washers, T.V.’s, ovens, microwaves and so on. It actually made me feel a little…..ashamed.
I love my $80 Sanyo microwave, and my washing machine which I got for free! They have been faithful workhorses ever since I moved out of home and they still refuse to die. But you know what? I’d love a bigger T.V.
And that is the problem isn’t it? we live in such a….how do I put it…”why have that when you can upgrade to this” sort of society. But maybe a far more environmentally responsible thing do than simply buying ‘organic only breakfast bars’, is to resist the urge to ‘trade up’ on the most complicated and therefore hardest to recycle goods that we use.
Now those of you who know me know that I am no tree-huggin, skinny-chai-latte greenie whatsoever, but I have to admit that I’m starting to really enjoy saying ‘no’ to the consumer mindset. For example; My 20 year old Mitsubishi Mirage is about the most fun to drive car I have ever owned and uses half the fuel than the Falcon did.
As I stood there staring at piles of stuff going into landfill, some of which that looked barely 5 years old, I began to get annoyed at electrical retailers constantly telling us to upgrade to the ‘next new thing’ but then I realised I’m a sucker too. There’s lot’s of stuff that I once bought on impulse and I have long since thrown it away. It’s occupying a hole in the ground somewhere, possibly leaching chemicals into it.
I have failed to uphold the biblical mandate to care for creation. It occurred to me that according to Scripture, the more you really care about God, the more you’ll care about what happens to his stuff. That means that conservation and environmental responsibility is as much or a concern to Biblical Christianity as any other sphere of life.
Lastly, all this junk made me realise something deeper still. Why do we fall for the ‘latest thing now’ jargon?
Because we don’t really trust that God can satisfy all our desires.
Like a Galaxy note 7, it seems the more we try to run out and get the latest, the more it will end up blowing up in our face anyway…..on a global scale.
P.S. I’m now waiting till my telly dies before getting a big one.