(This is the script of my Pause For Thought on BBC Radio 2 on the Owain Wyn Evans show on November 29, 2023. The Theme was How I'm Saving Planet Earth...)
My wife Janice’s Grandad was a sea captain and later in life the Harbour Master here in Belfast. His hobby was building little model ships. These were the days before Air Fix. These models needed more skill… and love.
Captain Gordon has left us hundreds of such models. Small to quite big. The detail is staggering.
Needless to say his grand children, all now in their 50’s, love them. They all have them on show.
They are also carefully cared for. I took one of ours to show the children in church and I carried it like it was the most valuable thing in all there world.
I like to think of the earth as God’s art. I am fascinated that, maybe before time, God imagined. Colours for instance. Green. Once there was no green. No blue. God imagined.
I sometimes think of my favourite scene in the world. Ballycastle beach. Walking out towards Fairhead, with Scotland beyond, I look to my right and there’s the lush green of the golf course. To my left the deep blue of the sea. In the middle Janice, Jed our dog and me on a narrow stretch of golden sand.
At sunset the sky goes all kinds of colours and I ask how God can paint such beauty, different every night, with the same piece of sky and the same time of day.
For me as a believer, the planet is God’s art. In prayer I call him Father. I love my Father’s creation. Like those model ships I carry it carefully.
BUT do I, this week theme is like a sermon that cuts through my soul. What am I doing to save God’s art. Far too little.
BUT as we wait for COP 28 to help save our earth I am delighted that this very week The 4 Corners Festival of which I am a co-chair have declared that we will be carbon neutral.
We have worked out the footprint of last years festival and will invest in trees to offset it. Surprisingly it didn’t cost us that much but it would cost the earth much more if we didn’t.
So I am now looking at holidays and other ventures that I can offset to sustain my Father’s masterpiece.