Let's recreate the Garden of Eden, or maybe not
Every year about this time, the Mrs. will endeavor to lay a guilt trip on me with respect to assisting her in her efforts to recreate the Garden of Eden.
“The experts say that gardening is good stress relief,” she’ll commence.
“I don’t consider Oprah an expert,” I’ll retort.
“Not talking about Oprah, I’m talking about gardening experts,” she’ll persist.
“From what I heard, Oprah’s an expert on everything so that would include gardening,” I’ll state. “Not buying it.”
This usually leads to her trying another tack. “Why do you think God placed mankind in the Garden of Eden back when it all began in an environment of perfection?” she’ll attempt. “Since God is omniscient, why can’t you accept that the ultimate surroundings for human beings to best prosper in obviously require greenery and shrubbery?”
It’s an old trick, one she’s been trying on me for 30-plus years. It’s an effort to attack my soft, theological underbelly, seeking somewhere vulnerable to sink her cognitive mosquito-like proboscis.
Alas, when will she learn? We’ve had this exchange every spring for more than three decades; still, she fails to accept the superiority of my insights when it comes to the Almighty’s philosophy with regard to matters green.
“You might recall,” I’ll patiently explain – again, “how that Garden of Eden fiasco turned out. If memory serves, the man and the woman – she, of course, being a sort-of afterthought in the Creator’s way of thinking - were banished from the kingdom of greenery after the woman – she, of course, being a sort-of afterthought in the Creator’s way of thinking – attempted to add a prohibited fruit to their menu. Which leads me to a very important question, my love.
“Why, when God saw fit to kick mankind out of the Garden of Eden are ye so insistent every spring that we try to recreate it? Know ye not that your annual penchant to reintroduce the Garden of Eden is a source of unmitigated painful memory for the man of your dreams?”
“Oh, shut up,” she’ll remark, evidencing a momentary forgetfulness that it’s the man of her dreams she’s addressing.
“Men are such a pain in the derriere that women ever since Eden have been wishing that God would have punted your entire species for good and left us to our planting and watering and pruning and overall enjoyment of nature. Here, help me put this shrub in this crater I’ve just dug!”
Her tone suggests it’s more of an order than a request.
“In a moment, my beauty queen,” I’ll say, “but before I do, might I instructively remind you that my years of theological research with respect to the sovereignty of Providence hath led me long ago to conclude that had the Almighty wanted a shrub in that location, in all likelihood She would have placed one there Herself?”
“Out!” she bellows. “Get out of here! I’ll do it myself, again!”
And thus it is that, once again, as in days of yore, man finds himself banished from Eden.
Tim Callaway is pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church in Airdrie. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org