Some years ago I read the story of an old man who was planting an apple tree. Seeing him undertake this exercise a friend commented: "But aren't you doing this a bit late in life? You are never going to eat apples from this apple tree." The man replied: "It does not matter, all my life I have eaten apples from trees I never planted. Those were planted by people who came before me. I am planting for those who come after me."
Well, that is the key to understanding the ecological crisis of our day. It helps us to see what we need to do in order to make a clean, green and harmonious world. God created this world a beautiful place with all the things we need to have a joyful and comfortable life. If, we still enjoy the world and all that it offers it's thanks to all those who came before us. They cared for this gift of God, preserved it and even did their bit to make it a little better than they found it. But, we cannot ignore others who did not care much for the earth, who thought that they were the owners of the world, that they could do whatever they pleased and so destroyed the forest cover, polluted the water bodies and depleted the ozone layer. They ate the apples and never thought of leaving some for those who came after them.
It is our decision about which of these two groups we are going to follow. Are we ready to care for Planet Earth, treat it well, use its resources wisely and leave things better than we found it. Or, will we join the selfish people who think that everything is meant for "ME"?
We would all love to live in a world that affords us peace, that is clean - green and full of every good thing. Why we would also love to enjoy apples. So we are encouraged to remember the people who come after us - our children and their children. They would love to eat apples, too.