Without an intellectual or moral leg to stand on, I began to question my stance as an environmentalist. Lest you think that it was a systematic examination of my inconsistent life views, I can guarantee that that was certainly not the case. My mind was in no condition for that kind of thinking. But somehow I realized that I was a walking contradiction. I actually did love the people I knew whether family, neighbors, and co-workers. I had no desire for them to be eradicated from this beautiful planet. The people I hated were faceless strangers from a distance — people I didn’t know, the other people who are not environmentalists. I realized that everyone else was basically like me with their own dreams and fears. Perhaps they had their own inner struggles looking for a reason to get out of bed every morning. Maybe they saw the hopelessness of this world, too. This does not mean that I was overtaken with selflessness and charity for my fellow man, I was just finding it hard to point the finger at everyone else. I finally was overtaken with guilt. I, just like everyone else, was part of the problem. I was a co-causer of everything bad in this world.
The Ugly Truth
I came to terms with the ugly truth that there was no hope for this world or anyone in it. The natural world is quickly diminishing and injustice will ultimately go unanswered. People, like me, are born into pain and misery, but to what end? Is this all there was? All this beauty in the universe, all to be forgotten when the human race goes extinct, erased by time. All those billions of people to be forever forgotten, swallowed by insignificance. This would have been a fine time for me to read C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, but that was not in the Lord’s providence for me at that time.
Out of the Woods
Through the means of a humble Christian man willing to share the gospel with me, I finally did come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And by coming to faith, my guilt was removed. No longer did I have to justify my existence on this planet; God put me here. This is his world, and I am his son. Now I can rejoice and give him thanks for the beautiful sunsets and autumn moons. No longer do I want people to get off the planet. To the contrary, I want them to see the New Heavens and the New Earth, and more than that, I want them to know the God who made it all.
Now that I know the Creator, Artist, and Redeemer, I can truly appreciate his works that he has marvelously displayed in nature and on the cross. No longer am I lost in the vast wilderness of darkness dazzled by the empty charms of naturalism, losing the forest for the trees. My myopic view of the universe has been cured. I once was lost and blind, but now I see the good, the true, and the beautiful. By the grace of God, I am finally out of the woods and dwell safely in his sanctuary.