We spent just over a week in KwaZulu Natal’s south coast for our December holiday. Although I haven’t been to this specific beach, I have been visiting these shores since I was a baby. I have plenty of happy beach photos, one memorable one is of the 4 year old me with a snow white bum and a starkly contrasted tanned back after spending so much time on the beach. The surrounding beaches in all the photos are of blue flag quality.
One morning we set out for a fun beach day but I was however deeply saddened by the state of our closest beach. It was littered with 5l plastic containers, old yogurt containers, plastic bags and washed out branches. Just prior to our arrival, most of the country experienced significant rainfall and by the time those waters reached the sea, it gathered far more than just mometum. And plenty of that was littered all over the beach.
I looked over to my kids building sand castles in a spot slightly less poluted than the rest and wondered whether their children will ever build castles on the beach. What will be left after yet another consumption driven generation, where nothing matters more than self interest, has taken what they wanted?
I’m vaguely encouraged by the Refuse the Straw campaign, reduced plastic consumption and Greta Thunberg (a 16 year old environmental activist) being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. It is however not difficult for that little bit of hope for our planet to be vaporized by inefficient and unsustainable practices we accept (gladly) in persuit of our own comfort. I mean really now, who sails on a catamaran halfway across the world to reduce her carbon footprint? (Yes, Greta, but I won’t be joining her any time soon.)
This brings me to hypocrisy.
The false profession of desirable or publically approved qualities, beliefs or feelings, especially a pretense of having virtues, moral principles, or religious beliefs that one does not really possess.
Me simply writing this transforms me into a hypocrite as some may think that I’m doing so in an effort to further conservation. Truth be told however, I happily pay 50c for a polution destined plastic bag because I AGAIN forgot my re-use, recycle bag in the car and it’s really just to far to go get it quick. Do I want a healthy and conserved planet earth for my grandchildren? Yes, I’m first in line to support that. Do I do my absolute best to leave it to them? Absolutely no.
I’m spending the last few minutes of Christmas 2019 writing this. The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He who came to die for our sins so that we can go to heaven when we leave this planet. He gave His all to preserve and protect our future homes in heaven. What He wanted for us is what He secured for us, conditional on accepting it from Him. As much as I want a beautiful beach holiday for my children and for generations to come, I earnestly want them to also join me in heaven one day.
Am I doing everything in my power to ensure that I see them and plenty others more in heaven one day or am I conveniently spending 50c at a time to save me from the discomfort of a ‘trip back to the car’?
Merry CHRISTmas, celebrated by so many, professed by so few.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”
Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT