Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are you a tree hugger?

Here in the Pacific Northwest it is not at all uncommon for members of certain environmental groups to either chain themselves to a tree or actually take up residence in a tree to prevent its harvest. These people will sometimes remain in contact with a tree for weeks and months, their life purpose becomes protection of that tree. We seem to have an equal abundance of both trees and tree huggers.

Spiritually speaking we have had this condition since the creation of the Garden of Eden. A very great number of people desperately cling to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil while forsaking the tree of life. Too many people are hugging the wrong one, desperately trying to live their lives based on what they determine to be good or bad, right or wrong. The problem is that being right is never enough, this tree only produces death.

When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of death they were excluded from the garden not as punishment but as a precaution. Just as that first bite caused their spirits to die, further "nourishment" from that tree could have only brought more destruction. Humans are unable to digest fruit from that tree, not in Adams time nor in ours. It would cause them endless distress, brokenness and finally the death of their spirits. God did not separate them from the garden to isolate Himself and protect His garden, He separated them from something that as humans would destroy them. That separation was the first step in their reconciliation, and the restoration of all their generations. It was an act of love!

Nourishment from that tree was fatal, and still is. Only on our best days, with the fullest information can we discern good thing from a evil thing, a good situation from a bad situation, a good intention from a bad intention. As humans we do not have the attribute of omniscience. We do not see the whole picture, we do not hear the whole story. We experience the present, but filter it through the events of the past. We react to a situation while fearing its effect for the future. We will, more often then not, react wrongly, perceive wrongly and judge wrongly.

It is only when we remove ourselves from the diet of the wrong tree and begin to live by the tree of life that we experience life, that we begin to gain strength and that we know true joy.

We need to stand guard against making the Bible our modern day tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it was never intended for that purpose, it was always meant to guide us to the Tree of Life who is a person, Jesus.

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