“The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.” (Genesis 2:14 NLT)
I thumbed through the pages of the Scout handbook, looking for an activity.
As a Cub Scout, my oldest grandson had to complete a number of requirements to receive his first badge–officially making him a Tiger Cub. Beyond that, many other activities existed for him to earn slides, badges, and other merits.
With his first badge under his belt, I looked for other things I could help him with. I came across planting a tree. For several months, I had had a mimosa and a crepe myrtle tree lounging in a pot on the back patio. They needed to go into the ground.
I call my grandson aside from his video games, and we went outside, gathered the pot, and secured the posthole diggers. After digging the hole for him, I had him help me put the trees in the ground. My wife and I will probably not be around to enjoy the shade these trees will one day provide, but someone will.
After planting the trees, I talked with my grandson about what trees do for us and how important it is to have them around. We learned about God’s cycle of life. Trees give off oxygen–what we breathe to survive. We give off carbon dioxide–what trees and flowers need to live. I smiled when I saw the smile cross his face. We were helping tend the world.
Thousands of years ago, God issued the first human a command to tend a garden. How large the Garden of Eden was, we don’t know, but Adam’s responsibility involved taking care of it.
The fact that God will one day create a new heaven and a new earth doesn’t exempt us from our responsibility to care for the present earth. In fact, many scholars think God’s future creation will be a recreation, not a completely new one. The more we care for the present one, the less God will have to do in the end.
My wife and I attempt to help in small ways. We recycle, even though it is sometimes aggravating to separate the items and push the large can to the end of our subdivision once every two weeks. I pick up litter in our area. We avoid putting harmful substances into the ground. We plant a small garden in our backyard each year and live off the produce. We care for the possessions God allows us to have.
God still expects us to care for our earth and to teach others to do the same. Our garden now is much larger than Adam’s, but all of us working together can keep it clean and healthy.
What are some ways you can help preserve your “garden?”