As Christians, most of us would admit to believing in the story of Adam & Eve. Maybe we know the story vaguely. Yeah, they sinned, blah blah blah. Eve was dumb and believed a lie. Adam was even more dumb and listened to Eve. Thanks people, now we have sin in the world.
BUT did you know that when you look in the mirror and worry that you are ugly, when you avoid a situation because you might fail, when you push yourself beyond sanity in order to succeed, when your self worth is all wrapped up in how well you do and what others think of you, that ALL stems from Adam and Eve’s choice?
“What? That’s crazy talk.” you say. But hey now, don’t tune me out. If you believe in God and the creation story, think about this! When God created the world he said it was good and after he created Adam and Eve, He said everything was VERY good! Before they had a chance to do anything good or bad, God said that they were very good! WHY?! Because He made them so. The completeness of man was based on God’s ability and not on man’s abilities. And so, mankind never had to wonder if he/she were valuable based on ANYTHING else! God said it was so and it was. God and man walked together on the earth hand in hand. There was complete peace and satisfaction.
Then it happened. Dang it. For the first time, Adam and Eve sought their happiness outside of God. Eve sought what she thought was wisdom and believed satan, Adam believed Eve and catered to her. For the first time mankind tried to improve their life apart from God. And when God came, they hid from him.
And people have been hiding ever since. Seeking life apart from Him, seeking their place and meaning in this life from the works of their own hands and from the approval of others. Trying to be pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough or good enough to be loved. Forgetting that before we ever did ANYTHING right, God loved us. That love is ALL that has ever been able to fill the deep void in us for value. Adam and Eve were just the first of us crazies to try and find it somewhere else.
It’s like the story of the ugly duckling. The more he sought to find his place with the ducks around him, the more worthless and inadequate he felt. It was not until he found who he was originally made to be that he found his worth. He could not see how beautiful he was, until he saw a swan and realized THAT was who he was meant to fly with and reflect.
We were made to reflect and live with God and ONLY He can show us our beauty. We NEED value, we NEED purpose, we NEED self worth. We’re just missing the fact that none of those can be met by us being “independent enough” and people “liking us enough”. When we hide from God and when we seek our own way, we are inadvertently creating a chasm inside us that demands to be filled with approval, yet no person can fill it.
We are left desperately trying to stuff everything that gives us meaning into this chasm. Our looks, our jobs, our abilities, ours, ours, ours. Again we are standing at the tree, reaching out for the fruit that will only leave us empty. We are seeking value in things that we were never made for. We are Eve, listening to a lie that says God is wrong and there is more for us! We are Adam, looking to someone else to motivate our choices. But they were confused as we are!
Adam & Eve were the first of a long line of confused, willful and stubborn people who are trying to make their own way in life. Hiding from God, pushing Him away. But God will not be pushed away. He continues to love us and call us back to him, away from our rat-race of panicked, useless grasping. He went so far as to die for us so that our rebellion against him would not stand between us, so that we could return to peace, return home. Just like in the garden in the very beginning of all beginnings, he is here to walk with us and tell us that we are very good. Very good because He made us so and no one can make us better and nothing can make us less.
But if we continue to hide, that is up to us.