Easy to forget it was a garden full of trees, and they could pick the fruit off any of them. Any at all. It was only the one, the one that they needed to avoid. The fruit that would disagree with them, the fruit that would play havoc with their systems, too much for them to digest. Just the one. And so the story played out. And continues to play out. Again and again and again. As old as time itself. The seconds, the centuries roll on. And the key players in history, each and every one of us, we all wrestle with the trees. Time and again we do it. We have all these trees to pick from, the tree of certainty, the tree of questions, the tree of discovery, the tree of learning, the tree of empathy, the tree of action, the tree of humour, the tree of calm, the tree of adventure, the tree of invention, the tree of compassion, the tree of listening, the tree of study, the tree of waiting, and yet at times we pick from the tree that will destroy us a little rather than give us life. Undermine us rather than feed us, trip us up rather than lead us on.
Day after day this Eden story plays out. As our self-control buckles once more. It is true that there are many times when we choose the good fruit and get the benefit, seen or unseen, but the reaching for the wrong tree is never far away. We gravitate towards that which chips away at the image of God in us. Oh dear. What to do? What to do? Thank goodness for that other tree, the one with the imprint of a resurrected man on it. Three nails and a life less ordinary. Thank goodness for the fruit of that tree. Freely available and within reach. Fruit that feeds us, refreshes us, renews us. And then goes on growing in our own lives, for others to pick and get the benefit. I guess we’ll always lean towards the wrong trees, continue to reach and overstretch and tumble and fall, but we’ll always have the tree of the resurrected man too. The tree of fresh starts. And it’s not too high, in fact, within reach of us all.
Genesis 3; Romans 5 v 12-21