What have we lost in our pursuit of a life of ease?
Am I suffering from a mid-life crisis? If so, that would be a good thing as it would imply that my life is only half over, and to live to eighty-eight would be fine by me. To see even my youngest child grow into maturity with grandchildren and possibly great grandchildren... as William Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "There's the rub." If indeed we make it that far, what have I taught them? Is their milieu destined to be blips and bleeps of electronic pap or earth, wind, sky and rain? Oh, to be a husband...
Husband. The early meaning of the word was something akin to one who is the steward of a family. Should I delve, however, into the etymology of this word that dates back no more than a few centuries, or should I look at the role of the husband in the beginning? I choose the latter.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:28-31 ESV)
We were called to be stewards of the earth. God had given it to us. How great a gift to walk in God's presence and to bask in his riches? Who would willingly give up such a thing?
to Adam he said,
"...therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken." (Genesis 3:23 ESV)
When so many take the easy way, it may seem odd this desire I have to walk the narrow with its toil necessitated by the fall of man and the curse of God. To dive deeper into the existential nature of my oddities, I offer this. I desire to not just take the narrow way, but to stop and be warmed by the sun, feel the rain on my face and the wind at my back and be enveloped by the blueness of the sky. It does seem an oxymoron to enjoy a curse. That is until you live God's grace and mercy. Though we do not walk with God in the same way that Adam did in Eden, we still walk. And though His blessings come as a result of toil, we are still blessed. Who would willingly give up such a thing?
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made... (Genesis 3:1 ESV)
Just as Eve was tempted with the enticement of something she thought she was missing and needed, we are often tempted by the same crafty serpent into a life of ease. Ease comes with a price. The blueness of the sky is replaced with the sickly fluorescent lights of the workplace. The food that God has provided is replaced by mass produced swill. The rain on your face stings with the pollution of a thousand factories producing our number one commodity, ease. And we do not walk with God as our fathers did. And though his blessings come, it is only by His love for us. When He speaks, we do not hear because we do not know His voice.
Wasted. Forty-eight years have passed, and I question, "What have I done?" The hope is that I have at least forty-eight years more; more years to slow down, to walk with God, to love my wife, to teach my children, to toil and be blessed. Oh, to be a husband.