Spiritual Godly environment
The Polar Bear
Main character quality emphasis is INITIATIVE
Note: Before you read this information, it would be wise to pray first and read from a spiritual perspective. Also, keep in mind that if we decrease in our spiritual Godly environment it could bring undesirable consequences.
Effects of climate change on polar bears creates concern regarding habitat loss and changes to the sea ice habitat.
The Dictionary definition of habitat is, “the place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows”.
If the polar ice continues to be reduced the polar bears way of life will be threatened. However, Greenland and Antarctic ice cores indicate that the Earth has been much warmer in the past and the Polar Bears survived. In order to survive the warm period, they would have used their own initiative.
Keep in mind that even though the polar bear cannot change its environment, we as believers can to some degree.
For the last several decades, there has been a reduction in the size of most glaciers and of late, there has been a reduction in the polar sea ice. The cause of this apparent warming is not known, although many attribute it to man’s influence through the release of carbon dioxide, although the warming trend began long before the CO2 buildup started. It is important to remember that God’s hand is on the Earth’s thermostat.
The observed changes to the sea ice and habitat that may affect polar bears are these:
• Decline in the area of sea ice in winter of about 1.5% per decade.
• Loss of thickness - multiyear ice (permanent polar pack ice), which is declining about 10% per decade.
• Increase in amount of open water.
• Shortening of the period of ice cover and lengthening of the open water period.
• Increase in the rate of ice drift.
Climate induced changes to the sea ice may result in changes to the prey species available to polar bears. There are indications that harbor seal populations are increasing, and that harp seals are expanding northward.
Theses species are already prey items for some polar bear populations, but if the sea ice continues to change, we may see these species become more important to polar bears as long as the bears have a sea ice platform to hunt from.
There is concern that if the ice conditions deteriorate too much, polar bears may be replaced by other top level predators, such as killer whales, which are largely excluded from ice covered seas.
However, ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica indicate the Earth has been much warmer in the past and the polar bears survived.
Changing sea ice conditions are affecting the polar bears’ hunting abilities and resources.
How does this apply to the believer?
Developing and maintaining a Godly environment increases
our ability and resources to HUNT in God’s word for spiritual food.
Thus far, we can observe the needed character quality of initiative in the polar bear, to hunt for its food.
Initiative means, the ability to do something before someone tells us to do it. No one tells a polar bear to hunt for its food.
God provided the quality of initiative within the polar bear to cause them to hunt for food. I believe that God also provided the quality of initiative within believers to cause them to hunt for spiritual food in His word.
We must realize that the Holy Spirit has initiative and He dwells in us, therefore we have initiative residing in us. However, there is work to be done in all of us and our initiative might not be developed.
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." RSV
"In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." RSV
1 Corinthians 3:16
"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" RSV
Have you have ever wondered why there are signs that say, “Don’t feed the bears”? Well, since easy handouts feed the bears they lose their ability to hunt like God intended. Starvation and behavior problems are the result.
We as believers need to make sure we do not loose our God-given ability to hunt for food in His word otherwise we will spiritually starve and have behavior problems.
Questions to ask ourselves:
Do we have a consistent study life?
Do we accept everything that people teach? (Acts 17:11)
The long-term consequences for polar bears are unknown, but a reduction in energy intake is likely to affect many aspects of the bear’s ecology.
The dictionary definition for “ecology” is a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments, the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment.
Recently, a new study in Alaska revealed that polar bear dens on the pack ice declined from 62% between 1985 and 1994 to 37% between 1998 and 2004. This was probably a result of declines in the amount of stable old ice. As the ice continues to change, we can expect some den areas to be abandoned.
In some areas, the number of human-bear interactions is increasing. Nutritionally stressed bears that are spending more time on land are approaching settlements or hunting camps seeking food.
As the sea ice continues to change and bears become increasingly stressed, further increases in interactions are expected.
Predicting the future is a precarious (shaky) venture, but it is clear that the sea ice habitat of polar bears is changing rapidly. Highly specialized species are particularly vulnerable to the effects of habitat loss.
As you read the following, expected changes in polar bears related to climate warming think of them for yourself in spiritual terms:
• Reduced access to prey species
• Reduced body condition
• Lower cub survival
• Lower reproductive rates
• Lower growth rates
• Increased intraspecific aggression
• Increased cannibalism
• Lower adult survival
• Altered movement rates
• Shifting den areas
• Shifting population boundaries
• Increased bear-human interactions
• Altered prey composition
• Reduction in population size
Let us develop and maintain a vibrant environment (platform) to study God’ word upon.
Let us also make the decision to use our God provided initiative.
In addition, with that initiative hunt for food in God’s word.