I don’t know if there is a game called “What If?” This little piece of mine is not meant to plagiarize the name if there is, but it sounds like it might be a fun parlor game. On the other hand, if you bother to read this you may agree that my particular “What if?” would take more time than an after dinner fun game. It’s far too serious than that. My question would be, What if Eve had not eaten of the “Tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and tempted Adam to do so too? Would they have become bored to death having all things handed to them on a platter? Not needing to labor either in the fields for food or in procreation to have children? Would they still be living in an old age of 6,000 and some years of relative retirement? Or might they have then eaten of the “Tree of Life?” Would they have found all children born of God?
Silly questions I suppose, but they bring to bear another question. Would it have been the loss of that thing called “free will” we think so highly of? Sure, we’d have been spared the pain of wrong choices and chance, but would it have made us practical robots of a “Lord God?”
Knowing the world’s constant dangers and warfare, strife and terror, would we choose the better option of foregoing the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and passing it up for the tree of Life?
In thinking about this I know my choice would be to be obedient to the Lord God’s warning. Only, I’d have to ask, “Why did you allow the good and bad tree to grow in the garden in the first place? Why did you present such a temptation to snare your children into slavery and a world of pain and short-lived pleasures? If You are the good God you’d like us to believe, why would you make life take place in a wild and dangerous wilderness? Even I am a kinder soul than to put my kids into a school where there are countless wrong options to every one right one.”
Now I’m asking myself what can I learn from this allegory which is so unlike the record of creation in the first chapter of Genesis? That God was not some tribal “lord” but a good God, a one and only God, who sees darkness as only a first impression on the “face” of creation, sort of like a cloud or mirage that presents an initial misconception needing only light to penetrate the darkness and ignorance and reveal the truth of being.
I’m thinking now that this earthly schoolroom is merely the way God, divine Truth, Life and Love encourages His children to take on more of His light in order to get through the initial "dark glass" so we can see clearly out of the “Valley of the shadow of death.” Maybe we’re like His children playing in the streets but learning in both school and home. We find here that we must daily choose the paths to take but it’s not hard when we are obedient to maps the successful pioneers have drawn for us.
The Bible says that God rewards us for choosing His way and following it as they did. With long life will I satisfy them and show them my salvation, He promises. To me that implies that if we need more time and are given it, I’ll buy that. I’ve done my share of lagging behind. I want to be ready for the next grade in this "school." I’ve got some make-up homework to do. I’ll need a good lamp as well as my own light and plenty of extra oil because it’s beginning to look a bit dark out there!
So you won’t find me complaining about old age. There’s time for me and you too if we keep shining. Our light comes from on high but we need to do a lot of letting it be! A friend of mine, well along in years, once said to me, "These are good years to figure out the meaning of life." I agreed then and especially now. So, get out your old rockin' chair too. Or think about it with your hands in the dishwater. When you're in the shower or saying your good night prayers. I'm finding it beats solitaire or old movies. And it keeps your mind on pleasant prospects.