One way to look at our lives here on Earth is that we are born out of Eden into a land of free will. I know—I am altering the Biblical story in Genesis a bit! But Genesis Chapter 3 seems to me to be suggestive at least that Adam and Eve ruined our chances here on earth of living in Eden in oneness with God here on Earth—all because they disobeyed God’s rules. If we, however, come back to God during our lifetime here, and if we’re willing, if we fulfill our purpose here on Earth and enter the kingdom while still on Earth, then when we die, we are born again into Eden. So Eden, I am proposing would actually bookend our lives—before our birth and after our death.
So, what I am saying is that we, at least our souls, are born from Eden where we are living in oneness with God into a world of freewill and human endeavors where we have to search deep within Scriptures and within ourselves to find God at all. And then, as we seek to fill the deepest longing of our souls—to return to Eden where we live as one with God, no longer seeing ourselves as separate at all—we begin the long way back to Eden, first living here in the kingdom on God and then on to Eden, an actual possibility as we shed the physical body of this lifetime and return to rest totally in God.
The transitional piece that is needed for this return to Eden is to live in the kingdom here on Earth, to bring the kingdom out of the shadows and out into the open in a real demonstration of how love looks in our lives. That is the purpose for our lives that God has set for us. How we do that depends upon our created gifts and talents and what we have learned from our challenges and how God calls us to apply them to promote his kingdom.
And so where we started in Eden is our home, our true home that we so long to return to. And the entry back into Eden at our death depends on entering the kingdom while we’re still here. It is the fruit of the Spirit given to us because of a deep relationship with the Lord that assures us that entry into Eden when we die.
In the Genesis story, in Eden Adam and Eve were at one with God, until they disobeyed a rule and ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, the tree of Good and Evil. To the author of Genesis, God banished us from the garden, but I believe the truth of the story to be simpler: once we ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we took on the full weight of our free will, we saw God as separate from us and could no longer live in the oneness of the Garden.
The major task of our lives is to see that God has loved us the whole way and has been present in our lives and within ourselves—no matter whether we were aware of it at all, and no matter what we did with our lives. All we have to do is to realize this truth and to allow the potential that lies in our souls and in the Indwelling Spirit of God to transform us.
So the rest of the journey, now that we clearly see that we are not in the Garden of Eden, is about how we get back there. We’re now deeply committed to the cultural paradigm in which we live. We see ourselves not as someone who is at one with God, but from a separate perspective. That is, there is God and us and we are no longer worthy to be in his presence. The basic misunderstanding from the human cultural perspective is that we have to be a whole lot better before we even think of approaching God. This misunderstanding of our basic task is what causes so much trauma in our lives, because without God on our side, we are homeless and dissatisfied— not centered in our true home and pretty miserable.
Since we know how unacceptable we are, we also think that we have the solution to this problem of approaching God. If I can only improve enough, well then….. Or if I can just stop doing X, well, then…. Or if I just pray all the time, I’ll be fine….. STOP!! The only way we can get to the place where we can love God with all of ourselves—heart, mind, soul and strength—is to let God all the way into our lives, to open the doors to every secret place within, to put our whole selves before God. Then, he, Love that he is, will transform all the disparate parts, all the wrongs that we have done and that have been done to us, so that we can, in fact enter the kingdom.
Living in the kingdom here on earth is the step we need to take, a place where we can love God, everyone else and ourselves as God has loved us, thus fulfilling the Two Great Commandments of Jesus. When we are able to form a true community in love where everyone is equal, where all gifts are honored and needed, where we are all equal, where everyone belongs, then we are finally living in the kingdom here on this Earth. And when we spend the rest of our lives there, we will be birthed into Eden on the other side of life.
The kingdom is the stepping stone back to Eden. as we enter the other side of this life, the transition we call death. First we have to be able to love—to include, to take joy in, to be patience with, to be at peace with, to forgive—every single person in this world. That is, no objections to anyone, no judgment or condemnation, no impatience, no writing someone off. In other words we value every human being equally including ourselves.
That is the entry into the kingdom and the kingdom is the entry point back into Eden, where we will be one with the Lord again. No nakedness. No separation. No sin. Our free will united with God’s. That is Eden, the beginning and the end for us.
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I aware that all I long for is a return to Eden where I live in oneness with God? Do I see that being in the kingdom of God here on Earth is the step towards Eden that I need to take in this lifetime? And what do I need to do in order to realize my created potential here and to take my place in the kingdom? And do I know that all I have to do is to put myself in God’s hands totally? That there is no action I can take other than my willingness to allow him to transform me?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who will allow God to transform us into the people he created us to be. May we go with God wherever he leads us. May we take our place in the kingdom of God here on Earth and demonstrate what a life filled with love looks like.
My book, “Thy Kingdom Come!” is up on Amazon. Check it out under my full name, Patricia Said Adams or Patricia Adams, if you’re interested. If you’ve already read it, I would love for you to post a rating or comment on Amazon or Good Reads–the ratings bring in readers.
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