My wife and I recently purchased a home in Henderson, Kentucky, and we are still very much in the process of getting the house in order.
Lots of boxes wait to be unpacked. Each day, we struggle to remember where certain things are. We are constantly being reminded that getting settled in a new home is both exciting and stressful.

Getting our house in order has involved more than just unpacking. We must make and complete a number of repairs and pursue various “home improvement” projects.

I’m not sure what year our house was built, but I have no doubt it was something very special when the first owners moved in.

It is still a wonderful home, but, with the passing of time and various owners, things have been damaged or do not work like they once did.

Furthermore, some earlier home improvement projects did not work out quite as planned.

We have already had a plumber come fix some things and now need the services of an electrician and painter.

It will take a lot of time (not to mention money) before we will have our house in order and looking like we want it.

This is something we both recognize and accept because it is our home now and we want to make it the best house we can.

As I’ve thought in recent days about the many things we need to do to get our house in order, it occurred to me that there are a number of parallels with the house we all share called Earth.

Few would deny that much needs to be done to get this house in order, too. The Earth that God created was and is something very special.

But like my own house, it has suffered a good bit of damage over the years and not everything works quite like it once did.

As I have found with my home, some of the “home improvements” that we came up with for the Earth have not gone as planned and generated new problems that now have to be addressed.

I would like to think that we still recognize the value of our home – the Earth – and are willing to do everything we can to get our house in order. Doing so, like with my house, will take time and not be cheap.

Obviously, we don’t have to do anything if we don’t want to, but we are only kidding ourselves if we think there will not be serious consequences for choosing that path.

I would be quite foolish if I didn’t go ahead and get the plumbing and electrical issues resolved in our new home.

By doing nothing I would only incur greater expense down the road, but, even more important, I would put my wife and myself in danger.

The same is true when it comes to dealing with many of the environmental problems our planet currently faces.

The longer we wait to address these problems, the more costly it will be to deal with them later. By failing to deal with them, we literally put our lives and that of others in jeopardy.

I hope more people will come to look at the Earth as their home and recognize that it is just as important to get this house in order as it is the one we might happen to own.

Surely it would go a long way in helping to make this a better world and help us all to be better stewards of God’s creation.

Chuck Summers is a pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Henderson, Kentucky. He is also a photographer whose work has appeared in numerous national magazines and calendars; he has published three photography books. A version of this article first appeared on Seeing Creation, a blog Summers co-authors with Rob Sheppard, and is used with permission.

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