In my younger years, I spent a good portion of my time mad at Eve (and Adam too for that matter). I was told that the pivotal day in the Garden of Eden, that life-altering moment that they decided to partake of the forbidden fruit, is the reason we women have cramps. So once a month, Eve was the subject of many a cry fest as I writhed in pain. I was told that Adam is to blame for the fall of man, for man getting kicked out the Garden, for the beginning of the end, and that he and Eve are the reason the whole world has literally gone to ___ in a handbasket.
“Aaaaargh!!” I would scream when I thought of how tranquil life would be if they had not eaten that dog-gone fruit, when I envision us dwelling in paradise, walking with God. Imagine never having the daunting task of picking out clothes for the day because the dress code in the Garden was… well….your birthday suit. I would think of how God told them they could have access to EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE GARDEN except the fruit from this one tree, but how that “everything else” just wasn’t enough. They just had to taste the one tree that was off-limits. So a fateful decision was made that affected countless generations after them.
That all just goes to show you my naivety. Because guess what? This is not about Eve or Adam at all. This is not about their big “uh-oh” moment. You know what I realized? We all have those Adam and Eve moments every day. Every day we are all faced with temptation. Every day we are faced with a choice, the opportunity to do what God has told us to do (give our tithe, love our enemies, be a walking example of Christ, study the Word instead of watching the game or Real Housewives, abstain from fornication, keep our bodies (His temple) holy) and every day in some small way, we eat the fruit, choose to do what WE want to do instead. Every day our external actions or words (what people can see) or our internal hearts (what God can see even though people can’t) tell the Lord, “I see what you’re offering God but this option over here looks so much more appealing!”
Or maybe I’m just talking about me. Maybe I’m the only one who falls short daily. Maybe I’m the only one who daily has to struggle with loving my co-worker though she has been short and spiteful to others. God calls us to forgive “seventy times seven” times when someone hurts us; maybe I’m the only one who finds it hard to let go of a grudge every now and then.
Let me be more transparent; maybe I’m the only one who, though God may have shown me a suitor is NOT the guy for me and means me no good, will still entertain calls and outings from the gentleman because I’m lonely and he fills the void. I can recall literally leaping into my second marriage after receiving countless confirmations not to do so. God was saying, “I have so much more to offer you if you trust me and just wait,” and my response, as shown by entering that marriage anyway was, “I choose this instead.” This was my pivotal moment that, like Adam and Eve, affected so many other lives. This was my moment of choosing the tempting fruit that’s right here, readily accessible right before my eyes, instead of the countless other things God was offering me instead (let’s start with the joy and peace I forfeited for those 3 years). Let me be clear, I don’t share that story with you to seem bitter and bothered; I share it because there is a need for everyone to be self-aware. How are you every day showing God that He is more important than any and everything in this world, even yourself? Do your actions reflect that you fully trust that what He has to offer is far greater than anything this world can conjure up? Do your actions reflect that you respect His “no” and are willing to do what He says, when He says it?
I.Am.Eve. Or rather, I WAS Eve. I was guilty of seeing the shiny, glittery things of the world----the men, the alcohol, the polluted lifestyle that did anything but direct me to Christ. I was guilty of hearing the Lord say, “Choose this, not that,” but still going my own way. What did chasing the world get me? Quite frankly nothing. Nothing but a checkered-colored past that I feel is a building block for me to learn from and a ministry for others. I don’t want to get all preachy and have altar call and smother you with scriptures right here, but I do encourage you to take a moment and self-reflect. My prayer is that your focus shifts. My focus has shifted. I can’t peruse Genesis anymore and say, “Come on, Adam and Eve! How can you be so careless?” Because if I’m pointing one finger at them, I am pointing 3 more at myself. Now instead of posing the question to them, I pose the question to myself, “Alexis, in what ways did you choose God over all today,” and then I follow up with, “And how are you going to do better tomorrow?"