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Tree in Flower Near Vetheuil by Claude Monet

Tree in Flower Near Vetheuil by Claude Monet

Get married and live happily ever after! Buy a house and live the American dream! Do more, get more, be more and you will have it all!

Like Eve in the garden, I was seduced by my own longings and doubts. Sure, the serpent gave her a nudge but Eve wanted to be important. She wanted to be somebody. She had already stopped trusting God. She was looking for something more and, for some reason, she thought she could find all she had lost, all she was searching for in a piece of fruit. Insane!

But then… I did my searching in things, too. I didn’t necessarily look in material, tangible things. Rather, I did my searching in other people, my job, my volunteer activities, things like that. I actually expected other people, a position, a role, meetings and mindless activity to fill that hole in my heart. By living this way, making my own mistakes, deceiving myself and being deceived by others, I came to think that Eve had been contemplating knowledge, wisdom, being like God and doubting God long before the serpent brought it up. I think that had she not been entertaining ideas like this in her heart, she would never have believed the lie. She would have blown the serpent off and never given it another thought. But she didn’t. And I didn’t.

Like Eve, I rolled with the nudge. I listened to the lies, believed the lies and watched, waited for the celebratory parade, for the happy storybook ending. Well, this is not a children’s tale and the ending of that part of my life was not happy. It was not sunshine and rainbows. Lassie did not find Timmy and no one is applauding. But… the thing about endings is that they lead to new beginnings.

So, I have left my illusion of the garden behind me. I am preparing for a new journey and this time, I understand that joy, real joy and fulfillment are found on the way. They are obtained not by cheating the system or finding a back pathway. They are not found by covering yourself up when things go south. They are not found by hiding from God or from blaming other people. They are found by living in relationship with Christ, by living in Him and through Him, seeing things with His eyes.

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