Earlier today, I was in Barrhead High School recording a video about values for their Remembrance Day Act. I told the young people that I have a list of my top 10 personal values on my phone. These are the most important values and principles by which I try to live my life. Here are a few of them: being the best dad that I can be; accepting myself as I am and not comparing myself to others. Having a list is great, but it doesn’t achieve anything if it just sits on my phone as a bunch of words. Any set of values has to be worked out in practice in the real world, in the decisions we make on a daily basis. So, for example, I took Facebook off my phone for almost a year because it was becoming a bit toxic for me at the time, and leading me to compare myself negatively to others. That’s how my value was worked out in a practical way.
At the present time, I’m really challenged by the final value on my list: having a commitment to sustainable living. With COP26 right around the corner, it’s no longer an option to bury my head in the sand and act as if my own choices don’t have a negative impact on the world. This is a value that is increasingly important to me, but if I’m honest, I haven’t yet embedded it into my daily life as much as I would have wanted to. I’ve made some changes, but there are still plenty that need to be made. Such as buying less meat of a greater quality, so that I know the animals have been treated well and had less of an impact on the environment. I’m not saying we should all become Tom and Barbara out of the Good Life, but if we’re serious about valuing our world then it needs to be reflected in our daily decisions.
Whatever lies ahead over the next few weeks with COP26, I’m reminded of where we started our journey in Derek’s book way back in January. God’s first calling to us as humans was simply this: to take care of and to look after his creation (Genesis 2:15). Lets take that call to stewardship seriously in our own lives, and work out how it actually makes a difference to the way we live our lives.