The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. (Psalm 89:11)
In my last post, Pt.3, Good Himself, I looked at mankind’s love of storytelling and heroes. The same theme is used again and again of a good man, a saviour, willing to sacrifice his very life in order to save the lives of others: Good must always triumph over evil.
“But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.”
Ever wondered what an ideal life would be like? An Edenic existence?
Would it be like a luxury vacation, drinks on hand; housekeeping fairies to make your bed and put fresh towels in the bathroom; gourmet chefs to prepare your meals, staff to wash the dishes. Would it be like Downton Abbey where you don’t even have to dress yourself?
If yes, then many people already enjoy this ideal life. But are they happy?
Substance abuse, eating disorders, infidelity, divorce, and suicide rates amongst the very rich suggest they are not. Furthermore, those housekeeping fairies are actually real people who have to work hard. Not everyone can live the life of Riley, because Riley requires a host of servants.
Adam and Eve, however, led the original Edenic life, and they did not have servants. Nevertheless, they were required to tend the garden. And anyone who has tended a garden knows this is grubby work involving soiled knees and dirt-caked hands. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).
Were Adam and Eve thankful to have all their needs provided for, working for pleasure rather than sustenance? Were they content? It seems they were not. Why else the forbidden fruit? Why does anyone taste forbidden fruit unless they hope, deep down, that this is the final thing they need to be fulfilled?
Ann Voskamp, best-selling author of One Thousand Gifts, says the first sin stemmed from a spirit of ingratitude. C.S. Lewis said it came from pride, just as it did for Lucifer. But these are not contrary statements, since pride and ingratitude go hand in hand: when we have a sense of entitlement (pride), thinking we deserve better (discontentment), we become ungrateful.
So, what happened to Adam and Eve when they became prideful and ungrateful, setting themselves up to be gods, and ate the forbidden fruit?
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)
1) Tending a garden before the earth was cursed must have been a very pleasant thing, despite the labor involved and the grimy hands. Climatic conditions meant a perfect amount of water and sun to keep things growing optimally. Indeed even today many people enjoying gardening and consider it therapeutic. But after the Fall, this burden to produce all our own food became back-breaking labor for many people; particularly in unfavorable conditions like heat and drought. It would seem all the joy was sucked out of it.
2) The very thing (dirt) that brings us life is the very thing that will one day absorb the life out of us too (death). The peach comes with a pit.
3) What we refer to as the Curse, the Fall, might also be the cure. The cure for ingratitude.
Why? Because everything was handed to Adam and Eve, hassle-free, on a platter, and they were not content.
Continue reading The Peach Comes With a Pit – how the curse is the cure for ingratitude