I was recently privileged to enjoy a visit to Austria and Slovenia. In Austria, the city of Salzburg offered a wealth of historical architecture. A fortress, a magnificent Cathedral, ornate churches and beautiful palaces. All awe inspiring structures; testament to the ingenuity and skill of those who designed and built them.
And yet, these man-made creations paled into insignificance when confronted by God’s handiwork; the sheer beauty of the Austrian and Slovenian natural landscape. Overhead, blue skies dotted with cotton wool clouds, still azure lakes glistening like polished glass, waterfalls flanked by high gorges and majestic mountains, lush green valleys by now sparsely decorated with delicate alpine flowers and grasses. Natural treasures, so beautiful they take one’s breath away.
As I was soaking in these Alpine wonders; on the other side of the world a young Swedish girl was passionately imploring world leaders to address the issue of climate change, her anguished warning of global destruction echoing the fears of so many others.
As a Christian, such fears are quenched by the knowledge that God has promised to preserve the earth that he loves. We are therefore reassured, but perhaps also complacent. Surely, we must all care deeply for this place we are blessed to inhabit. Soaking in the natural beauty of Austria and Slovenia, surrounded by the breathtaking wonders of God’s creation, was for me a reminder; that we are stewards, called to protect and care for God’s earth, and of His redeeming love for all that dwell therein.
‘The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein’ – Psalm 24:1