Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Even in Eden

Not even in Eden -- not even walking and talking with God Himself, could we get it right. We just HAD to eat from that wrong tree -- even when there was only one wrong tree in the entire place. We believed then (and we still do) that the serpent was probably right: God didn’t really mean it. Nawww -- He wouldn’t really hurt us -- nawww, we wouldn’t really die.

So they ate the apple, and they got themselves kicked out of the garden -- out where they can’t walk or talk with God anymore -- in fact, they couldn’t even hear Him. Suddenly they found that life was hard -- every inch of it filled with pain and struggle and labor and toil and sorrow and sickness and trouble and death.

Maybe they had not physically died right then-and-there, on the spot. But they had landed themselves far outside of Eden, banished forever. And then they died, because a physical death was due them now, which God had not intended. Probably they went to heaven, but all the while they lived on earth, so far from Eden, their lives were HARD. And so also, ours.

Like them we today try to convince ourselves that it’s okay with God if we keep nibbling on that (whatever) apple. “Nawww,” we say, knowing that God loves us and has saved us, and therefore, we are going to heaven when at last we die. But wait! Maybe we could be living in His Kingdom now -- even while walking through this world of woe.

Hmmm. It is true that we may have accepted Him as our Savior and Lord, and that, if He is our Lord indeed, then He will live in us and we in Him, even now in our earthly walk. But nawww, we say, as we happily hum along to the strains of Frank Sinatra singing, “I did it my way.”

Maybe that’s why visions of utopia have never materialized and never will -- not even in Eden. Ever since given free choice in that idyllic garden, humankind has been flawed, as if indelibly inked with the inclination to choose “my way” over God’s. It happened first to our ancestors in Eden, and we have inherited the trait. It seems our DNA is maimed with a simply incurable wound.

The Bible says our genetic sin can be healed and that we are able to choose the right tree after all. When we do not, we find ourselves out in the cold. But when we do, we are brought into safety and joy and freedom even while we walk on earth.

Our choice.

1 comment:

  1. A quote that seems relevant to this essay:

    I became more conservative as reality taught me that dreams of perfecting human society always run smack into human nature.

    -Thomas Lifson, Editor, American Thinker