Farmville Enterprise January 9, 2019
My parents, like most interesting people, each exhibit(ed) a unique mix of traditional and more progressive ideals. Dad was an outdoorsman who loved skiing, hunting, fishing and gardening. I can picture him now, using twine to bundle up meticulously the already-read Washington Posts and Evening Capitals in order to take them to the Spa Road recycling center. This was well before the City of Annapolis had curbside pickup for recyclables. My brothers, mother and I never could forget the “don’t stand there with the door open!” refrain when getting something out of the refrigerator or the constant “turn out the lights!” mantra after we left a room. And then there was the bin for eggshells, coffee grounds, banana peels, etc. which had to be emptied onto the compost pile and was used eventually to fertilize the garden. A lot of my father’s sense of fiscal and environmental responsibility presumably came from the fact that his father had to close his trucking business due to the Great Depression and for years was the chairperson of the New Hampshire Water Pollution Commission. My brothers and I joke that Mom bought the moldy cheese and the reduced-price end pieces of deli meat, but she sure taught us how to shop around for a bargain and not buy impulsively. She even co-authored a little local paperback called “The Cheapskate’s Handbook” and organized several neighborhood clean-ups made more exciting for us kids by prizes she solicited as donations from businesses. The desire to reduce, reuse and recycle was passed down effectively to all three of us Manson children.
Certainly, as Christians we should honor God by conscientiously taking care of the natural beauty surrounding us and avoiding excess and waste. Perhaps even more than seeing us not waste natural resources and material things God does not want to see us waste any season of our lives. After all, God does not waste a thing. If we are committed to the process, painful at times, every circumstance can be another step in being molded to become more like Jesus. God does not waste our experiences but will use everything- our highest highs, our lowest lows and even the most mundane parts of our everyday lives- for his good purposes if we are willing to be transformed.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)