RECENTLY, as I have walked around our great city, I have noticed the amount of rubbish overflowing from bins and lying on the streets.
I can’t help but wonder why people think it is okay to toss their rubbish on to the kerb. And I wonder too what visitors must make of Belfast with our streets in such a mess? It really isn’t a pretty sight. However, I am glad that there are action groups set up to improve our littering problem. This has caused me to consider how my Christian faith informs what I think, and how I relate, to our environment. I think the first thing to say is that whether we have faith or not, we all have a part to play, and this can be a simple act of placing our rubbish in a bin. Secondly, and in relation to faith, the Genesis story is key to this conversation, as we read that God, Himself, is inextricably linked to His creation: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Furthermore, Psalm 24 reminds us that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, and all who live in it, for He founded it on the seas and established it on waters.” I only have to capture a roaring sea, sandy beach, gorgeous sunset, snowy day or a mountain top view to be taken up and blown away by God’s handiwork.
After all, taking the time to enjoy nature can help improve our stress levels and mental well-being. I love the words of CS Lewis: “Something of God... flows into us from the blue of the sky, the taste of honey, the delicious embrace of water, whether cold or hot, and even from sleep itself.”  I truly believe He has given us this world to not only enjoy it, but to also look after, including our city of Belfast. We have been given the responsibility to be caretakers of this Earth, our communities and streets. Spending time in creation helps us to connect with our Creator. So, yes, let’s enjoy our beautiful creation – but let’s also make an effort to maintain its goodness, and that includes simple tasks such as placing our rubbish in the bin.