It might be easy to read about the first sin in Genesis 3 and feel disconnected from it. It happened a long time ago in a place where we’ve never been. But a quick look at our own culture and life shows just how close we really are. We’d like to think we’ve progressed as humanity, but we are really very similar to Adam and Eve.
We all want to create our own worlds, be our own gods. This is the American Dream, right? Nobody in themselves really wants to be dependent, well all want our own piece. So even though it kills us, we live in isolation. We live in isolation because being in contact with other people naturally leads to our world being disturbed. Being in contact with others might mean we would care for them or that they might need us to come through for them in ways we are not prepared or interested in.
Every day that we wake up and live in in our own little worlds is another day that we take a bite out of that original fruit. Like Adam and Eve we want the knowledge that God gives without the relationship that He requires. We don’t want Him, we want His stuff. And if we’re middle class or higher in the West, we’ve figured out lots of ways to make our lives so comfortable, so easy, we don’t think we need God anymore. If we have enough of His stuff (because, really, all creation is His anyway), we’re pretty much OK being on our own.
But then there are times were we really aren’t OK. We might try and suppress it and push it down, but we know the world is not how it’s supposed to be, even for the modern little American Dreaming kings and queens we are. We started out loving the taste of that original fruit, but now we feel like we have to force it down.
Every day that we live outside of ourselves, joining up with others is a protest of the world’s natural fruit-eating order.
But here’s the thing—we can’t even do this on our own. That’s the problem in the first place! How foolish to think we can get community right in isolation! The ideas don’t make sense. We’re called to live with others, we’re called to live under God. And of course we know this, this is what drives us to inner conflict to begin with, relying on ourselves. We need Someone better than us to help lead us in a life that is not self-obsessed.
There is no place for our own god and goddesses to raise their heads, in fact, part of the life we now live in includes chopping off their heads. More than that, the life we now live under a good God can now actually be marked by joy, real joy, when we live under the One who rescued us from ourselves.