I cannot blame Eve because I understand her in my own way.
When I was younger, I would have watched that tree in the garden, waiting for its fruit to drop. Not one for waiting on anything, it would serve only to ripen the fruit, to guarantee the sweetness of my decision. Instinctively, I would have caught the first offering in mid-flight, to enjoy the taste of consequence without any damage to the experience.
I can’t blame her.
She had Adam telling her, no, don’t look there, “We don’t do things like that”. A phrase I found empty and worthless to explain anything when I was young. Didn’t everyone understand that I did not want to be like them anyway?
When Adam stood beside her, He bit. I guess that we do, in fact, do things like that. I found that to be true from most of those who dared speak that phrase.
Eve, also, had God telling her to look at everything else that He had made for her. Look at Him, walking through the garden. Wasn’t that enough? Why wasn’t that enough?
I bear that rebellious nature. The majority of my life, I saw my actions without consequence, my rights guaranteed by my birth, and my belief that my choices were for my good. How could I harm myself? I understand Eve in my own way.
I did hurt myself. I did hurt others.
Your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasies will convict you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord God of hosts (Jeremiah 2:19, NRSV).
I am reading Jeremiah this week. The prophets always make me grateful that I have returned to God, and stopped watching the trees, day and night.
I returned when God overtook me, maybe while I was tree watching one day.
When He tells me, “No, this is not the best for you”, I find that, now, finally, my gaze can avert and I can realize that He is enough.
Are you, or have you been, a fellow tree watcher?
Thank you, My Father, for never letting me out of your hand. Put gratitude in my heart today as you gather those who love you. Give me the ability to divert my attention from the places that are not the best for me.