The Earth---Our Past, Present, and Future

December 29, 2008
By Cynthia Pullin, Stuarts Draft, VA

From the first moment of existence up to the present, the earth has rendered every physical need for life. Today man still depends upon the earth for shelter, food, clothes, and resources; until the closing of time, it must continue to provide his needs. Yet some uncertainty exists that our world will be able to continue fulfilling its purpose. Certainly God not only created the world for human beings but also produced man to toil upon and care for the earth. Thus humanity holds the responsibility of harvesting the earth’s resources without harming this precious gift.

The earth’s provisions are easily seen in early times: farming generated food and clothing for developing nations; trees created houses; stones and mud constructed vast kingdoms; coal and timber warmed frosty days and later fueled machinery. But all these results were the outcome of man laboring and conquering the land he had been given. The Creator of the universe commanded man to “Fill the earth and subdue it”, and gave him “every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it…for food” (Genesis 1:26, 28-30 New International Version). Fulfilling this mandate, mankind has taken advantage of our world’s fruitfulness and thus enjoyed abundant fortunes. In Pearl S. Buck’s novel The Good Earth, the author emphasizes this truth through the main character Wang Lung. This Chinese farmer and his family knew “that all their lives depended upon the earth” for provision and security (71). Wang Lung sustained his family as “drop by drop by his sweat he wrung food from it and from the food, silver” (36). Truly, foregoing generations have relied wholly upon the fertility of the earth.

Presently, humanity continues in dependence upon the earth’s continued provision of bread, garments, and shelter. Now the primary focus rests upon energy resources such as oil and coal. A most important aspect of everyday life depends upon these resources: locomotion. Humanity relies on ample transportation opportunities for business reasons as well as delivery of provisions. Yet this assumed luxury depends upon a continued abundance of natural resources. Continuation of the life known presently is in the hands of earth’s stewards: mankind.

If the earth has provided for humans from ancient to modern times, one can conclude that, for life to persist, the earth is essential. Yet milleniums of use have drained and ruptured our planet. Some of these dilemmas might have been avoided had man been a more superior caretaker. Nevertheless, one cannot dwell upon past environmental mistakes but must seek to improve the future.

As earth’s custodian, man has the responsibility to treat the planet in a productive and trustworthy manner. One way to do this is to replenish the resources that can be replaced, namely trees. Also, some products such as plastic, aluminum, and paper can be recycled. Fuel in the form of oil presents greater uncertainty; if one cannot recycle or replenish oil supplies, how can the earth continue to produce the means for transportation? Since the supply of oil and natural gas will someday be depleted, the only solution is to find alternative energy sources for fuel. This does not mean that the current use of oil is inappropriate, but merely confirms that humanity cannot cling to it forever. Considering the rising price of fuel, Americans would certainly benefit from finding alternative sources soon.

Another concern regarding man’s duties as earth’s caretaker is the destruction of earth’s beauty. Although there is a need for expansion to accommodate growing areas, state parks, natural wonders, and the like must be preserved. Surely humanity wants posterity to relish the same wilderness that has captivated since the earth’s beginning! Also, to ensure that succeeding generations receive the same benefits those before have cherished, pollution must be reduced. The byproducts of cars and factories are not advantageous for human health or the earth. Littering and landfills also clutter our precious God-given earth. Not allowing our planet to be overtaken by garbage is a worthy goal. Although no man can predict the earth’s end, shall those presently here destroy it without care for the ones who will succeed us? Since the closure of time is unknown, humanity should continue to respectfully care for our planet.

In essence, the earth is the past, present, and future of the human race. Not only does it nourish human life, but it is also sustained partly through the actions of man, the God-appointed steward of this planet. In part, the fate of our sphere lies within the hands of man; will he choose to care for the earth and reap its vital fruit, or will he decide to neglect his divine duties and suffer the consequences? The impending outlook will bear the result of whatever path we as mankind so choose to venture.

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This article has 1 comment.

PGthePG123 said...
on Feb. 17 2016 at 6:59 pm
does anyone else realize that the internet does not produce anything that is somewhat useful to anyone on the Earth?

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