…The Fall had never happened?
What if Adam had gently taken Eve’s hand and said, “C’mon. What does a serpent know ?” and the two of them went and made love in the grass? What would our lives look like?
Really, it’s almost unimaginable. All we’ve ever known is this messed up world. Humans have tried to imagine such a world ever since we squandered it in Eden, but I don’t think we’ve ever gotten it right. However, we should try because the mental exercise might lead us to some power insights about the life we have now and the life we’ll have when Jesus returns.
When I was thinking about this question last night, it occurred to me that parenting is something that we would still be doing even if the Fall had not happened. I don’t think I can say that about my current job. So what? Well, like a lot of folks, I get pretty discouraged about my job. In the movie Julie and Julia (that my wife and I watched two nights ago), Julia Child’s husband was looking back on his career in the US foreign service and he essentially asked “What was all of that for?” At age 40, this is precisely the question that I ask myself with increasing frequency about my own job and wider life: “What am I doing this for?” It’s a different phrasing of the question, “Do the things I do have any greater meaning?” In reflecting on the initial question at the beginning of this point, I realized that parenting has much much greater meaning that I normally think it does. After all, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be teaching English (no Fall, no Babel, no language issues), but I would still be a father. It would still be one of the ways in which I would bear the image of God in the creation. It would still be one of my priestly (gotta read NT Wright to understand adjective) tasks.
So, now I have at least one thing that I do which I don’t have to ask “What is this for?” or “Does it really matter?”