6 Reasons to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle on the Land
What an incredible love gift God has given us in the land!
When you think about it, everything that sustains life comes from the land.
I’ve found it interesting that it seems God is calling many people these days to sustainable living in connection with the land. Such a lifestyle is only possible as we connect more closely to the provisions the land produces.
The land’s obvious provisions are food and medicinals that grow in plants, shrubs, and trees. Animals that provide us protein live off the land as well. All the small, even tiny, creatures that fly in the air, creep along the ground, and live in the soil itself feed off the land. And they help to make it richer and more alive with teaming nutrients to feed the vegetation that feeds us and the animals. Everything works together to sustain us.
The land also provides various kinds of energy resources to make our lives more comfortable and productive. Not to speak of all the minerals mined from the land that are used for all kinds of production worldwide.
So here are five reasons why to live sustainably in connection with the land.
1. Love of the land.
When we connect more closely to the land and its resources, we develop a greater love and respect for it.
We don’t worship the earth, not “Mother Earth” nor “Mother Nature”. The earth is not God, but rather a creation by God. Although the earth is an amazing and intricate creation, it is still just that – a creation. So we worship God Himself, the Creator of all things, who made the earth and everything on it, as well as everything surrounding it in space. Everything centers in God, the Creator. Nothing that has been created should be our focus of worship.
However, there is something so enriching and therapeutic about working with the systems and cycles in the earth. They embrace us and sustain us as we respect and empower them to operate according to God’s created design.
As we give to the earth, it give us back so much more in return. How can we not love that?
2. In gratefulness and appreciation for God’s love gift of the land to humanity.
It seems so easy to take for granted the resources the land provides. Often as we’re in the store aisles, we may hardly think about how items appear there and where they came from or what was involved to get them there. They’re just there, ready for us to buy and use in our daily routines of life.
A sustainable lifestyle calls us to appreciate all these amazing products. To not take them for granted. To not be wasteful of them. But to be good stewards of them, using them wisely. Yes, as God’s love gifts to His children.
3. To have more control over the food that nourishes our bodies.
Do you know where your food comes from? Where and how was it grown or produced? Is it even REAL food? Or is it simply manufactured food-like products that your body is somehow supposed to find particles of nutrition from?
As a cancer survivor, what I eat, where it comes from, and how it’s grown has become increasingly more important to me. Because it really does make a huge difference.
So when you are endeavoring to live more closely connected to the land, you are able to be more in control of your food. Perhaps you are growing some of your own food. At least you want to know what you’re consuming every day.
4. To have enough supplies on hand for the winter seasons of life.
It used to be that nearly everyone preserved and stored up food for the winter months. It was the only way to have provisions from growing season to growing season.
When we were young we tended to dismiss preparations for emergencies, thinking they won’t come to us, or that we would somehow figure out how to deal with them if and when they happened. You know . . . don’t cross your bridges until you get to them . . . .
As we grow older, we realize that traumatic events happen to all, sooner or later – that’s just how life is. And we also learn that it’s a whole lot easier to deal with such emergency situations when you’ve prepared ahead of time.
I realize it’s probably not reasonable to think we can prepare for every possible emergency that might arise. However, some basic planning and preparations of backups and extra in store is usually wise. If they never happen, well, that’s wonderful! But if and when they do, those who have prepared have reserve resources and systems in place to help reduce the stress of the ordeal, and are even able to help others in need.
This post is not the place to go into detail about what kinds of preparations for all the possible types of “winter seasons”, which may be different for different people. However, a sustainable lifestyle wisely gives consideration to personal and community basics for sustaining life at least a couple weeks (if not some months), according to your particular situation and location.
5. It’s just a good thing to do.
Being good stewards of these amazing resources from the land just makes good sense. God’s instructions to Adam and Eve in the primal Garden of Eden was to rule over the stewardship of the land. To care for it. To manage it well. To participate with its productive cycles for the provision and sustainability of life itself on Planet Earth.
Good management of the land through a sustainable (permaculture) lifestyle stimulates the soil, water, and air to greater abundance. While we appreciate the objective of many commercial farmers to help feed the earth’s population, often the methods used are inhumane to the animals and deplete the soil and other earth resources, thus resulting in exploitation of the earth. Gratefully, there are plenty of land resources, when used wisely according to God’s imbedded design and natural systems, that all the growing populations around the world may enjoy earth’s abundance to feed them.
It seems only right that we humans should seek to take good care of the land in order to facilitate its increased productivity for the long run, so that it can continue to sustain us well, as it was designed by its Creator to do.
6. Not out of fear.
This may actually be called an anti-reason . . .
Have you heard things like:
- Our resources are getting used up
- There’s not enough food to feed the growing populations of our world.
- Society and governments are becoming so corrupt that humanity is in process of destroying itself on Planet Earth.
- Epic disasters could happen any time now.
It’s true that we live in a scary world these days, but this is not the place to deal with all those existential matters.
Fear causes people to do strange things. To get out of balance. To focus on one aspect while other aspects are grossly neglected.
When we operate out of fear, our perspectives are skewed so that we can’t see the bigger picture in order to understand how best to address the challenges of life in ways that are sustainable for the long run.
And besides, fear is not of God. In His Word, He continually tells people not to fear.
Because fear is not about trusting God.
“All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.”
I think there is much truth in this statement from the permaculture legend, Jeff Lawton, although perhaps his statement may be a bit over simplistic.
However, this amazing earth that God created really does provide everything we need to sustain life abundantly for everyone, as we steward it wisely according to God’s created designs.
I’ve recently been soaking in Psalm 147:11-14: “The Lord delights in those who revere Him in those who trust in His lovingkindness, who put their hope in His faithful love . . . He strengthens the bars of your gates. He blesses your children within you. He puts shalom within your borders. He satisfies you with the finest wheat.” (my version 🙂 ). Wow!
God wants to provide for the needs of His children.
He’s promised to do so. He even takes great delight in doing just that!
Our love for God and His faithful love for us should erase all our fears. Because “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18, NIV).
Living a sustainable lifestyle . . .
- is the right thing to do because it honors God, His faithful love for His own, and His creator design for the earth.
- demonstrates love for the land itself and all the incredible abundance it’s been created to provide for humanity.
- respects and appreciates the land as God’s love gift to us, so that we don’t take it for grated and are not wasteful with it.
- enables us to eat more nourishing REAL food, straight from the soil’s enrichment.
- practices the wisdom of maintaining sustainable resources and systems for the “winter seasons” of life that are inevitable from time to time.
- engages life from a perspective of love rather than fear, trusting in God Himself, the ultimate sustainer of all things.
What about the land gives rise in your heart to gratefulness to God this Thanksgiving season?
What new adventure with the land are you ready to embark on in the coming days?
I’m deeply grateful for God’s love gift of the land to humanity!
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