Echoes of Eden

What do you want to be when you grow up? It is one of the first questions that we are asked as children and it is one of the first that we ask our own kids when they’re little, too. When you think about it, it is a pretty daunting question. The question behind the question is deeper. And that question is this:

Who ARE you?

In our society, our identities are, for right or wrong, inextricably linked to what we do. That’s why no little kids describe a not-so-glamorous future for themselves. You’ll always hear about dreams of rocket science and doctors and pop-stars and lawyers. But then reality hits, and most of us realize that those things are not going to happen for US. Because our parents were wrong. We can’t do whatever we set our minds to.

And then the emptiness sets in.

We feel like we were meant for more, but our realities aren’t matching our hearts’ desires. But what if we did have a greater purpose, but we had simply bet our dreams on the wrong race horse?

I’ve been on a journey. It has been hard. Journeys aren’t significant unless they are, are they? This journey has made me look deep into my own heart and into my church and more deeply into who God is and who I am. And the results have been awe-inducing to me. I’m fully convinced that we were all made for so much more…

In the bible in Genesis chapter 1, God is almost finished creating. But his masterpiece has not yet been completed. In Genesis 1:27, He says this~

So God created mankind in his ownimage, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

I’ve read that so many times that it had lost its meaning to me…but suddenly it had more meaning. Deep, life-changing significance. Of all His creation, only one piece was the image of God. The literal representation of God on earth.

But just two short chapters later, His image-bearers, Adam & Eve, were deceived into trading that untarnished image for something feeble and fallible. They traded THE image for a lie. And they were broken in every possible way. They were psychologically wounded. They were relationally challenged. They were spiritually disconnected. Even the earth was broken. Death had entered the world because of this unnatural great image-exchange.

But God had a plan. From the beginning of time, God knew that we’d give up his image and our truest selves for a lie. But lies will not have the last word. Truth does.

And God sent the Truth to earth in human form to remind us of what our image was meant to be. Colossians 1:15~ The Son is the image of the invisible God…

Jesus came to show us the Way back home. Jesus showed us what God looks like. And that makes me feel homesick. Not like I’ve been away from my house in Aurora too long…but something deeper and more mysterious. Something redemptive. Something so powerful and good, that it is nearly irresistible to me.

I sense something in me that wants to go to a place that I’ve never been physically, but feels more like home than I’ve ever experienced. I feel the echoes of the Garden of Eden, where all was right in every way. There was no strife or alienation or shame. And I need that…and I’m pursuing that kind of wholeness.

And in this place, God is encouraging me with a deep sense of goodness and healthy doses of longing. Longing to agree with the amazing work that God wants to do in me and through me. Agreeing with the work that Jesus did on the cross so that I can once again become a full image-bearer.

You can do this, too. You’ll never meet your longings in your careers, or in another person, or in any other charade you can think of or do. Your craving will be satisfied only when you surrender to Love and allow yourself to become the truest version of YOU that could ever be.

And the only way that will happen is if you allow God’s love to scrape off the veneer that you’ve so artfully decorated yourself with and give in. Become the you that was designed before there was time. Become fully alive.

Peace,

Neil

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  1. Thank you for the great post. It is a very good reminder of our true purpose here on earth. It goes along very well with current series, “We Are Church”, which I am loving by the way!

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