Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.Having finally implemented a plan to grow a vegetable garden this year, using simple tools (no motors, gas or electric), has brought me much closer to the realization of how great the Creator is.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust
and say, "Return, O children of man!"
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
Transforming a small piece of earth from a chemically-altered wasteland to a fertile plot of ground from which the fruits of labor are not instantaneous is a labor-intensive proposition. It is easy to focus on the hard work and to think of ourselves more highly than we ought, giving credit to the hours of labor and personal tenacity.
But, the miracle is not the labor. Rather, it is the created order which is given to us by God for managing during our time here. It is an order which is so detailed and comprehensive that even the structures of soil play a large role in the success of our labor. Labor is fruitless unless we are working in a medium that is blessed with the life of fertility.
Our creative role in the world is minimal; our destructive bent is tantamount.
Managing what is God's, we cannot add anything to it that will make it better. We can only provide the toil, the efficient usage of God's resources, and manage as best we can that we do no harm.
The Psalmist portrays the preeminence of God, the Ancient of Days, the Creator, the Alpha and Omega to whom a thousand years is but a day...or more starkly, a "watch in the night."
If stewardship is our primary function, which it seems to be, given the accounts in Genesis of the garden and Adam and Eve, we must first stop the irresponsible (sinful!) waste of the Creation. Secondly, we should work to recover and to replenish the earth by eliminating practices that are blind to the needs of future generations.
This idea has ethical implications that are political, economic, and even spiritual. It takes much contemplation, radical action, and personal repentance. Our destruction is upon us if we do not change.