424: Brent Suter, part 3: We don’t have to steward. We get to.

December 23, 2020 by Joshua
in Podcast

If you haven’t listened to Brent and my first two episodes, I recommend listening to them first. Also, I recommend reading Milwaukee Brewers’ Brent Suter Sharing Love and Joy.

I haven’t approached the environment from a religious view and Brent and I spoke about plenty of interesting things the first two times, so we didn’t get to it. Lately listeners have probably heard how much William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and their peers have become role models. I wrote Brent to see if he knew more about them and could share.

He said he was happy to. I’m not used to talking about religion in public, but he was and was happy to record. I reread the story about his Christianity and was pleasantly surprised to see words he connects with his work that I do—joy, light, love faith, kindness, service, mission—that are the opposite most environmentalists seem to. They look at stewardship like chore, obligation, burden, sacrifice.

I’ve started saying “I don’t have to steward. I get to.” Taking responsibility for how my acts affect others and changing my behavior to avoid hurting them doesn’t hold me back from flying. It connects me with humanity.

If you asked if I expected my work would overlap this much with someone based in Jesus relative to nearly any scientist or environmentalist, nearly all of whom tell me they don’t want to do more, I wouldn’t have believed. As much as science determines the problem, the solution will not come from science but creating purpose and meaning.

If you consider yourself religious and religion motivates you to act in stewardship and I sound like I’m missing more than Brent and I covered, contact me. I’d love to learn more.

Sign up for my weekly newsletter