Deuteronomy 8: 11 “Take care that you do forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances and his statutes….when you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them. and when your herds have multiplied and your silver and gold is multiplied….”
Thus is a warning not to forget God in our prosperity. Lent is, in part, a time to reevaluate our motivations for living as we do.
Thom Hartmann in The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight cites Jack Davis, professor of Native American Studies at the U. California- Davis, who said in our language we have this word “Wetico” which means cannibal, one who eats the life of another. Davis says that the Native peoples very quickly realized that the European settlers were infected with “wetico’, a mental illness in which you take more than you need.
We do take more than we need. We love to own collections. We desire more money than we need for survival. We believe that materialism is the pathway to happiness. Upon reflection we might do well to consider whether we are taking more than we need from the earth’s resources to the detriment and even survival of other life species.
It’s about finding a balance in this post-modern world between our need to continue to explore, to prosper, but also sustain the gift of others’ lives and the resources needed for their survival.
(Rev. Russ Smith is a retired IGRC clergy member and a member of the IGRC Committee on Native American Ministries.)