There’s something about that Garden story that pricks the conscience, that stokes a soulish curiosity in us all. This would be the creation story recorded in the first three chapters of Genesis, attributed to Moses, the lawgiver. Understanding this story is key to making sense of the world as it now is.
Whether literal or allegorical, the idea of walking and talking with the Creator supersedes all other desires in mankind. Our “me” dominated society is not new in our day, though the mechanism are — social media; selfies; reality TV; seeking overnight pop-culture fame.
But humanity’s attempt to satisfy the deep longing inside is easily masked by distractions all around us. And the longing continues no matter how much we seek out entertainment or check our social media feeds or smother it with food/drinks/drugs.
This story begins “In the beginning” with an all-wise Creator and his pinnacle of creation: human beings. These creatures were not necessarily the first to look as they did but they were unique. They had three components found nowhere else in creation: a soul, spirit, and a body. And man wrought his own nightmare by disobeying the game-plan and bringing catastrophe upon all of nature. Ever since humans have longed for the cool of the day once experienced in the Garden of Eden.
From the gods of the Greeks to Dante’s “Inferno” to the lyrics of Willie Nelson & Beyoncé songs alike, there is a longing for wholeness in each of us that cannot be filled by simple good deeds, fame, wealth, power or romantic/sensual love. We all search – every culture, every race, every civilization, throughout all of human history. And we might not be able to articulate or pinpoint “it,” but we know things are not supposed to be like they are. As Morpheus told Neo, in the 1999 movie The Matrix,
“You’re here because you know something. What you know,
you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life.
That there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know
what it is, but it’s there … like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”
The year 2017 certainly will be filled with stuff and things and busyness. And then once we pause to stare at the ceiling before we fall asleep, we’ll sense it again as we push the yearning for that cool walk into the recesses of tomorrow by flooding ourselves with more status updates, mobile phone games and celebrity news. But eternity is calling, built into each of us incomplete creatures.
There is a hope beyond collecting Likes from status updates. This hope is found in the Bible and calls us to wipe off the dust while trusting in the path laid out in this book. Though it appears abstract at times, it is simple enough to be understood by young children. It is not the way I would have mapped out to restore my highest creation but it is the path the Creator designed. Then fulfilled.
And it’s through these eyes, this filter, this prism, this bias, that I begin this page of weekly essays, articles, rantings, observations and whatever else comes to mind.
Your respectful comments are welcomed after each posting.
4 thoughts on “That Garden Story”
Stories of the Creator, a garden, a longing, a splinter in my mind… So glad you finally got around to putting something to paper. kc
Well written Jon. The only things I stumbled upon were:
1. “Whether literal or allegorical…” The Bible should almost always be interpreted as literal. I realize many have adopted the allegorical approach for most of Scripture, but this allows humans to do as they wish with the Word of God. Of course, there are allegories in the Bible, but the context will almost always point to them.
2. The comment about Adam and Eve maybe having a look-alike predecessor…..scriptural?
I’m so glad you started this blog., Jon. I pray that each of us who participate will do so with humility and the desire to learn from each other. I, too, have been very captivated by the first several chapters of Genesis. I find it interesting that the two trees that God placed in the middle of the garden, He named with abstract nouns- denoting ideas., Because God spoke the world into existence and because He says His Word is life and health to our flesh. I think that the se forbidden trees represented ideas of good (functional in Hebrew Mechanical translation) and ideas of evil( dysfunctional in Hebrew Mechanical translation). I believe that it is very possible that Eve and then Adam chose to receive within them words that were contrary to God’s way of functioning. They thought on it , considered it and became aware of both functional and dysfunctional ways. It is possible that because they chose to open their minds to the antithesis of God’s Words, they were now subject to Satan’s perspective. Could it be that Satan told Adam and Eve they were naked? Could it be that now because they felt ashamed, they separated themselves from God.- their life source- and that this separation brought death.? Could it be that when God said you will surely die, He was not declaring death as a punishment, but simply stating the effect?
Looking forward to reading this along with future writings, Jon.