Eco and Ego Restoration
Flipping through the April 2010 edition of “Common Ground,” the free Western Canadian publication distributed to various restaurants, doctor’s offices and other places, I noticed a lot on both being green and trying to overcome the evils of your ego. The message was from a new age perspective, but not that far off the Christian message of restoration.
I have been gradually immersing myself in the field of “Ecological Restoration” over the last few years, and this immersion has reached a very deep level this year on my sabbatical. This “eco restoration” shares a lot of common ground with “ego restoration.” Indeed it makes sense that a magazine like “Common Ground” should be “dedicated to health, wellness, ecology and personal growth.”
I’m currently editing a compendium on the restoration of Garry oak ecosystems, one of Canada’s most endangered ecosystems found exclusively on Vancouver Island and the nearby Gulf Islands. The chapter on public participation strikes at the heart of the ego/eco overlap.It is becoming increasingly clear that ecological restoration needs very active human participation to be effective in most cases, versus “letting Nature take its course.”
At a basic level, eco restoration is a healthy activity.Being outside in the fresh air, utilizing “sweat equity” and the sheer physical challenge of activities like weeding are good for you.But beyond basic health, there is the ego therapy of getting beyond oneself, working with others for the common cause of eco restoration, and taking the cause of restoration seriously, and the hope that comes with every weed pulled, every new tree planted.
As it says in Romans 8, our egos have subjected the creation to a lot of pain.That’s why habitats like the Garry oak ecosystem need restoration, after being subjected to pressure from development, invasive species we have introduced, and many other changes we have wrought.Along with creation, we suffer.We groan under the weight of our own self-importance, our over-inflated egos.So God promises restoration, a promise sealed with the unsealing of the tomb of death at Easter.
“All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay” (Romans 8:21).Eco and ego restoration!