The Lord God then took the man
and settled him in the garden of Eden,
to cultivate and care for it.
The Lord God gave man this order:
“You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden
except the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
From that tree you shall not eat;
the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.” (Gn 2:15-17)
We have a sordid history, do we not? We were created in the image and likeness of God and placed in a place of beauty. We had everything at our disposal … except.
It is always the “except” that brings us down.
The moment a parent tells a child, a teacher tells a student, or a coach tells a player not to do something, that “something” becomes the most valued of prizes. “Why did they tell us not to do that or not to take that,” we often think to ourselves. The more we try to stay away from doing something or taking something, the more it seems to draw us in.
And then we fall. We do what we were not supposed to do. And we find out that the warnings were correct because, in the process, we ended up hurting ourselves.
The Genesis story of the fall of Adam and Eve seems to replay itself over and over again in our daily lives. There are times that I wonder if we will ever learn our lesson.
Our parents, teachers, and superiors know best. They know best because they have gone through the same pitfalls and are trying to keep us from falling as well. We need to heed the advice of others better than we do.
The same holds for our God. We need to heed His advice as given to us in the commandments as well as throughout the scriptures. Jesus was not talking for His own good. He said what He said — as God spoke through the prophets saying what He said — so that we would be safe and secure.
Let us attempt to quit living as doomed people. Rather, let us embrace the laws and love of God.
FAITH ACTION: What commands of the Lord do you find hard to keep or to fulfill? Ask God for the grace to be faithful to His covenant this day.