Friday, 19 August, 2022

Wasting is sinful!

Reverend Martin Adhikary

As a theist and also a Christian I believe that everything that Almighty and Holy God created is good. In the Creation narrative in the Biblical book of Genesis we read that every single day God said ‘Good’ after creating what he created on that day. The English words, ‘Good’ and ‘God’ are related to one another. Whatever good God created is good. It is without any blemish until and unless our attitude makes it so. Our Sustaining God meant that man should enjoy his creation and praise him and his holy name. God’s creation is for the enjoyment and benefit of all humanity. We are not to waste or squander any of his creation, any wealth and any resource. To waste is sinful in a world where there is millions of people everyday going without the ability or opportunity to meet their basic human needs. But many people in our world, because of their greed and pride, waste immense amount of food, drink, and abuse or misuse God-given goods or resource. This is true, sadly and regrettably, all over the world and in all times and climes.

If anyone asks me, ‘What is the most biggest problem in the world’ my answer is that we, most human-beings waste and squander resources of any kind creating immense amount of miseries and afflictions and sufferings for millions of innocent people. Apart from natural calamities of whatever kind our technological, ever-increasing sophisticated and notoriously demand-creating civilisation,  lie  at the root of all the hydra-headed problems that all that good creation at large faces and will continue to face. Surely, there is a great amount of truth in the Qur’anic verse: “Squanderers are the brothers of Satan” (Al-Isra 17:27). I am a Christian, but I dearly love these words, which, one day caught my attention when I first saw these written on a Bill Board stood posted near the eastern Gate of the Dhaka High Court building. Today we live in a world, where on average, 10% rich people use (or abuse!) 90% of the resources of this planet; and the remaining 90% have to live somehow with the residual 10% of the wealth. There is and will never be any over-night answer to this sadly lamentable truth.

We need to have an inner transformation of our hearts and minds. Our greed and lust, our way of using God-given resources, our wars, skirmishes, the way we continue polluting our water, soil, air and even we make eventually damage to the ozone-layer, etc., causing continual global warming and in turn causing climate change and damaging the eco-system-- all having bearing on the eventual disparities among peoples and among nations.

The Bible and all other Scriptures of different religions have great and lofty teachings regarding harmonious living between man and the rest of creation. It is time that we humans are serious in our paradigm thought that we are not master of God’s creation, but we all are part of nature and creation. Our sustenance and wellness entirely depends of the how we care for God’s creation. If we waste or squander our resources or wealth of any kind we deprive millions of people of their just share of the same. So this way or ways of our handling of what we may possess, that may include or include, our time, talent, treasures, task or trust-worthiness in private or public life have effect on the whole creation.

I have very high regard for our Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that she has always given, in many of her public addresses so far as I have known and heard,  that we need to take care about the use of water, natural gas, fuel, electricity and the like. We must have a holy attitude to all resources that Almighty Creator has given us or provides us directly or indirectly. This must be followed by all means at all levels, at our homes, office, factories, institutions, so on and so forth. Otherwise we create the way for our own peril or suffering. There is a limit to everything. Nothing is endless in our world. Perhaps our selfish whims and caprices are unlimited! And that’s the way to ruin.

Many years ago when I used to work with an organisation I had an experience which was very new to me. And it is a fact. I found that even when we, the staff used to go for lunch at the dining hall went for lunch most of the lights and ceiling fans were kept on. As a new comer over there I saw this condition for some days. And then one day I went to the switch board on my way to have lunch I was switching off many of the lights and fans: then one of our staff-team told me that our “Boss” would know that our work was still going on if the lights and fans were still kept on! It was a hall-room so there were several lights, etc. and said lets perhaps leave one or two switches on and have the rest off. This is perhaps the situation with hundreds and thousands offices or work-places. Please let me mention here that I think that I switched off perhaps 3 times more lights and fans in my life that I actually switched on.

What is our experience about most of our public wash-rooms and toilets, etc. you can hardly find the Commode seats are left erect. I refrain from telling about other matters. Our gas-oven burners are left switched on for long time even when they are not being used for any cooking. In rainy season many people dry up children’s clothes, etc. We ought to learn from our experience. We use resources that the Creator gave us for our good. But we do not know their proper and economic use. We fail to be good and faithful stewards of our resources. This is how we create problems or crises not only for ourselves but for others. No consideration for others!

We do well if we have a sacrosanct or holy attitude to each and every resource or wealth that we enjoy with other people in a just and equitable manner. Our sense of holiness must undergo a transformation, I hasten to say. Holiness or goodness resides everywhere and anywhere we live if and when we regard everything that our holy God has created and made for our good and as such our hearts, minds and our attitude are holy; holiness it does not reside just only in our so-called holy places, like church-buildings, pagodas, temples or mosques. Let’s treat our lives and all we use in this sense. We glorify the Almighty and we ourselves are blessed of him thus. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it” sang the Psalmist (Psalm 24:1). We are supposed to be faithful users or stewards of his creation. 

The writer is a Christian theology teacher and church leader