The Choice

By Elaine Knudtson

Image result for adam and eve painting

And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.  In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. . .

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”

The woman said to the serpent.  “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.  He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”  So the Lord banished him from the Garden of Eden. . . (Gen. 2:9; 3:1-6, 22-23)

The Choice

The choice has been made. 

We are like gods, knowing good and evil. 

The forbidden fruit tempts with eternal youth, beauty, happiness, fame and glory.

Consequences are revealed in aging, decay, despair, loneliness and mocking death.

Good confronts evil with love, creativity, joy, praise and eternal life.

I MAY choose the good:

                To dance in the light

                To harmonize with the symphony of creation

                To encourage and comfort the sojourner I meet on the way who has turned back                    in despair before encountering the true presence.

I WILL embrace the good:

                Seek the peace of God

                Imbibe on hope until I am drunk with the joy of the Lord

I DARE to rise from the death of mortal fears and stroke my aging skin, feeling the softness of your touch that reminds me that I am not alone.

We have chosen to accept the good and resist the allure of despair and death.

We see our sagging and creaky tent as a guarantee that we will be reborn,

Not to evil, but to good.

“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” I will see the good.

The choice was made.

The curse of death arrived with my birth certificate.

Eternal life and goodness were secured in my baptism into His death and resurrection.

I live under the curse in a broken world with the hope of eternal life guaranteed by the one who gave me the choice in Eve.

Where she failed me, Christ has triumphed.

“See what love the Father have given us that we should be called children of God.”

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Paul was a preacher and teacher until he retired in 2015. He continues to write and listen to what God is saying to him in the ordinary and extraordinary things of life. Elaine was a public school teacher and administrator until she retired in 2018. She is using her retirement to reflect on God's work in her life and to share insights with her family and friends.

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