Since January 2021, we have walked, scooted, and cycled 218 miles from our house in Liverpool to Glasgow as part of the Get to Glasgow pilgrimage. For us, the Get to Glasgow challenge was an opportunity to talk to our daughters about climate change and its impact on this beautiful world that God has created, and our responsibility to protect it. We wanted to empower our girls, and help them to see that our small choices make a difference; each decision made sets us on a trajectory either towards stewarding the planet, or destroying it.
As a family, we have loved doing this challenge over the past few months. It has not only motivated us to get out more and enjoy all the glory of God’s big beautiful world but it has also challenged us to think about the ways in which we might act to steward and protect creation. We’ve had lots of conversations about good plastic and bad plastic, deforestation and toilet paper, glitter in the waterways and litter on the streets.
Our Get to Glasgow involvement started with small changes: using Facebook marketplace and ebay more to invest in second hand clothing and toys; changing our washing powder and bathroom products; litter picking on the way to school… but it has culminated in buying our first electric car. So much of that decision was down to our girls. They prayed about what we should spend our money on. They listened to God. They made us feel guilty each time we topped up the fuel tank (!). They were involved in our decision making processes and this, we hope, will enable them to make wise decisions in the future. It also led to our second walking challenge of the year which was undertaking Miles for Refugees with the British Red Cross.
Perhaps my greatest joy as a parent has been seeing our daughters’ love of the world grow. Our 5 year old, has started her own journal called “Sav the planit” and she writes down her thoughts and prayers about the world and what we can do to look after it, and I now get told off if I forget to bring the litter pickers on the way to school so we can be #2minutesuperheroes.
For us, Get to Glasgow was another small step on our journey to becoming more green, and in teaching our children that no one is too small to make a difference. For children, the climate crisis can so often be overwhelming and something that induces either anxiety, or inaction, or both. It is easy to feel paralysed by all the things we cannot do. We cannot change global structures. We cannot convince world leaders to behave differently. We cannot reduce mass emissions single handed. But we can take small steps together that bring change. The verses from 1 Timothy 4:12 resonate with what we have been trying to teach our children: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
This ‘meet the community’ article was written by Nic Findlay for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and the future’. Nic is passionate about trying to figure out what it means to follow Jesus with her family, and how to invite others into that journey. Nic and her family seek to bless and serve their local community, in Norris Green, Liverpool.She currently helps to lead an all-age congregation called Living Room Church which was born out of lockdown.