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Friday, March 7, 2014

Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:22–24
Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. (NRSV)

Whenever I come face-to-face with this scripture, I want to ask for a do-over hoping that it will turn out differently next time. I used to believe that we could reach a point in our lives when we “really got it” and could live contentedly from that point forward. Not so!

Our life is a journey seeking the path to being what God hopes for us to be. That sounds easy until we read the story of Adam and Eve. They were living in a perfect situation, and all they had to do was avoid one tree. This is where being human comes in. All of us are tempted by what is denied us.

Seeking God’s will is counterintuitive to the world we live in. All around us we hear how much better we could be with more money, more things, more success.

I remember one afternoon when I had a meeting at church but managed to get in a bike ride up the lakefront before the appointed time. When I got to the meeting, a very wise pastor asked what I had been up to. I told him about my bike ride, and he said, “It’s like praying, isn’t it.” It wasn’t about the exercise—it was about the beauty of God’s creation unfolding all around me.

As I reflect on my journey, I realize it has never been the things of this world that led me forward but rather the beauty all around me. I only have to open my eyes and pay attention.

Loving God, help me to focus on the blessings that are mine for the asking. Overwhelm me with seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling the gift of creation. Let me be content with my life without the feeling that more is better. I pray this is the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Written by Barbara Timberlake, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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