There are some things in life we take on the chin as dumb stuff we have done. We can’t point the finger of blame at anyone else but us for dating that girl, having that one last drink, or agreeing to that Papa Smurf cheek tattoo. Hand in the air…that’s on us.
However, there are a few things we can thank mom and dad for. I’ve got a hair line that screams “Thanks Dad!” I’m sure a few of you ladies out there are just “thrilled” that your mom blessed you with an awesome set of cankles. I know guys are thrilled that the 3 chins they are rocking was a gift from their Pops and short of a Groupon facelift falling from the sky they are stuck with rolling with those rolls.
Adam and Eve, our often forgotten mom and dad, left us some treats that we didn’t have any control over too. What they left us was far worse than a Lipitor prescription for genetically high cholesterol because what they left us has eternal side effects.
God originally created the world to live in harmony and relationship with Him. His design was to be in perfect union with God free of all the trappings this world currently has to offer. He gave one rule to our first parents which seemed very straight forward and specific.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” Genesis 2:16
Not to much gray area there. To borrow a line my father-in-law used to say to his kids before entering a store with breakable things, “Don’t touch things you don’t know about.” That is what God was telling Adam and Eve. Just don’t touch things you don’t know about.
Well that didn’t last long especially when Satan entered the picture.
On a stroll through the Garden of Eden one day Satan appears to the couple and leads them over to the forbidden tree. He slinks and lurks around the tree and tries to poke around at why this perfect couple doesn’t want to anything to do with this seemingly perfect tree.
In Genesis 3:1, he asks Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must no eat from any tree in the garden?’” As if to plant a bit of seed of his own in her spirit to see what would grow.
Now pay close attention because we are getting close to the gift from first our parents.
“The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” Genesis 3:2
Satan tries to reassure her that the fruit is truly good to eat and in fact is better than anything they’ve ever eaten in the garden! He tells them that God is actually holding out on them and that if they eat this fruit they will become “like God”. Although I think the real first mistake is Eve twisting God’s words, we see that she gets caught up in the beauty of the fruit and loses sight of the beauty of God. We read “she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:6)
In that moment balloons fall from the sky, confetti cannons explode, streamers shoot out and the trumpets sound because right there before us lies our gift. A piece of fruit rolling on the ground with two simple bite marks out of it, but with massive eternal consequences. The decision to disobey God by Adam and Eve is the gift of sin, the fracture in the universe, the source of the Grand Canyon that lies between man and God. This gift is what has caused, disease, pain, suffering, and death. It has caused insecurity, fear, loneliness, and depression. It is the source of war, famine, and divorce. It is the source of all evil and everything that is wrong in our world. All of it can be traced back to this one moment in time.
Now before you walk away and feel helpless to this situation we need to be careful.
Although we did not ask Adam and Eve to sin and screw everything up, we are not innocent bystanders to sin. Just as Eve was not forced to eat the fruit by Satan but was simply tempted to eat the fruit, so too are we tempted to the sinful fruit of this world but not forced to partake. God’s design always had free will within the blueprints so that we could willing choose between sin and His love. When we choose sin over God we run from the love the brings us life and fall headlong into the effects of sin.
However, God’s love of creation did not stop when the fruit fell to the ground and began to blacken with decay in the garden. In fact a new Godly plan was being designed called “salvation” and it began unfolding at that very moment. This plan would cost God his only Son, but would provide a way, the only way, for His children to come back to Him. Through Jesus Christ we are able to return the gift of sin given to us by our first parents and trade it in for the gift God had always wanted us to have. God’s gift of life. This gift gives us a life meant to be lived to the full. This life is free of the pain, sorrow, and death. This life is steaming with joy, peace, patience, and love. This life is unable to feel the decay that sin always provides when we give in to its tempting offers.
So although we can say “Thanks for nothing” to our first parents Adam and Eve, perhaps we should be more focused on saying “Thanks for everything” to our Heavenly Father.
I’d say that would bear us better fruit.