IT HAS been said that in the absence of a major change, the global systems will collapse in less than hundred years. We are now on the 18th year of the 21st century but we are not anymore certain if we can reach the 22nd century which is only 82 years from now. The earth continues to warm, the 236-meter iceberg in the Artic and Antartic which is twice the area of Europe is melting without let-up at the rate of 1000 hectares every day, the oceans are rising, endemic species are becoming extinct and the unimaginable is becoming imaginable: the end of life on earth.
This grim unsustainable environmental scenario is made horrible by the unsustainable economic reality where the wealth of a few oligarchs in the world is equivalent to the total assets of some 3.6 billion people or half of the world’s population. Indeed, Mother Earth and the people are being sacrificed in pursuance of the growth-at-all-cost development strategy where money is used to make more money and not to enhance the quality of life of the people. Unbridled materialism and consumerism is the order of the day, devoid of spirituality where diabolic minds towards self-aggrandizement are in control.
The much needed paradigm shift towards new dimension of spirituality has become imperative, where the spiritual consciousness of the earth’s inhabitants must now focus on regaining back the lost ecological integrity and in the process, becoming God’s stewards having been created in the image and likeness of the Creator. Indeed, protecting God’s vanishing creations is the highest form of worship because creation is a reflection of the Creator Himself. Yes, the blooming of the flowers may be very beautiful but it pales in comparison to the blooming of the human spirit.
Such wonderful blooming of the spirit is now becoming more evident in the life of the Indigenous People, the Higaonon Tribe, in the uplands of Cagayan de Oro who have been evangelized in the last 25 years by an astonishing spiritual leader of the Christ, the Livingstone Fellowship, Pastor Noli Garvida. The amazing spiritual transformation of the Higaonons is not only underscored by some phenomena like the curing of a leper casting out leprosy through an intense pray over by a spiritual leader par excellence or the bringing back to life of a mother who died after losing so much blood after giving birth because of the joint prayers of Pastors over the dead body. Most important than these miracles is that through the spiritual awakening of the tribal people, they have regained back the ecological integrity amidst the massive onslaught by the loggers and miners whose greed has no match against the determination of the ecological people to protect God’s creation. That for me is even more phenomenal than any miracle of curing the sick or regaining back a life.
In a country that has already lost the 17 million hectares of dipterocarp forest and all the billions of life forms that dwell in the forest ecosystems for billions of years, isn’t it more astonishing that a portion of these dipterocarp forest still flourish in barangay Pulang Lupa, Dansolihon?
Why is this so? There are now 16 Pastors and 14 Churches of the Christ, the Livingston Fellowship in Dansolihon and nearby upland barangays who have lifted the spiritual consciousness of the Higaonons to be stewards of God’s creation. That for me is what matters. One’s spirituality may manifest the transformation to become a saint but what really matters is the societal effect of liberation against ecological degradation that will somehow save the earth.
Yes, the Earth is now dying in the absence of a major change. That major change is now in the offing by enhancing spiritual consciousness because unless there is spirituality, materialism will continue to wreak havoc.
This is what really matters: the development of the human spirit and in effect, is exemplified through the blooming of human potentials in oneness with nature. Such truism is manifest by the biblical lines: “What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of the Spirit.”