My Confession

Sometimes I’m tempted to throw something in the garbage that is clearly recyclable, simply because the garbage can is closer (but then I am laden with guilt). Other times I am outraged because I find a recyclable item in the garbage, left there by someone else.

Sometimes I buy a prepackaged pizza because that is so much simpler and quicker than homemade pizza. Other times I inwardly applaud myself for having made something from scratch.

Sometimes I choose to live in the ignorant belief that my choices only impact me. Other times I feel guilty because I’ve purchased something and know that through its production and delivery, resources were wasted or was treated unjustly in the process.

Sometimes I choose to live as though the little decisions I make on this earth don’t really matter. Other times I’m inspired and serious about how every little thing counts.

You might be thinking I sound like a ball of inward contradictions, and perhaps I am, as I struggle and grapple through the issues of stewardship, caring for creation and the wise and ethical use of resources. I continue to work through my place in this world as a physical and spiritual being, discovering more how I am intimately connected to this earth.

We’re Spiritual and Physical

The temptation to discount or disregard the physical stuff of this world and of my life, or to place it in a more secondary position behind the primary position of spirituality, is rooted in the kind of dualism that dogged Barbara Brown Taylor. She confessed that a lot of her life she thought of reality “not as one but two,”[1]the physical and the spiritual as being separate. I’ve recognized the undercurrent of exalting spirituality to a higher place in my life and neglecting the physical… I’ve been lazy… it’s true.

Brown Taylor also declares: “Our faith in an incarnational God will not allow us to ignore the physical world, nor any of its nuances.”[2] How then can we, as followers of this incarnational God, ignore the physical? We shouldn’t. Can you weigh in on they ways you’ve fallen into this trap?

Perhaps I’m just opening a can of earth worms right now.

[1] Barbara Brown Taylor, The Luminous Web: Essays on Science and Religion, (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000), 8.

[2] The Luminous Web, 15.