Sunday, June 19, 2011
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19, New International Version, ©2011)
[The Expulsion From the Garden by Gustave Dore]
For the last few months I've been spending more of my free time outside working on the pool and the yard. The kids even helped to plant hydrangeas for my wife on Mother's Day. And even after all the hard work I have put in thus far I've found I've been rewarded ten fold. I'm thankful for the chance of simply being alive, as walking, talking stardust, where I can help through painful toil bring new life into existence to share in the experience of life.
Now I know there are various interpretations of Genesis (this one being my favorite) but I just can't stomach the Christian theology of Original Sin (let alone the misogynistic language and theme in the Bible) . To share and indulge in our innate curious spirit is as sinful as an infant exploring its environment. It is in that spirit of curiosity, exploration, and questioning that I temper with reason to fashion my world view as my world fashions me. We are interconnected, dust to dust, to the world and people around us. A growing number of people are depending less on what an outside intangible Supreme Being from a book may so "goes" verses the tangible people and events we interact with everyday. I'm fine with people following a belief system as long as they realize that in the end their actions affect the people and the world around them. Life can be difficult at times but it is much easier when we listen to each other, when we grow with each other.
It is through the hard work of removing the thorns and thistles of ignorance, bigotry, injustice, etc. that we can bring blessings from a "cursed" ground. But this can't be done by simply praying for their removal or awaiting a cosmic apocalyptic event to wash it all away, it must be done by us. And if we listened in this life we may just return to the dust leaving behind a more Edenic world for the next generation.