I picked the rest of the cherries this morning and while I was surrounded by the leaves of the tree, reaching here and there for the remaining red fruit, I thought upon Adam whose job prior to his sin was to "tend the garden" (Genesis 2:15). It was assuredly a lovely garden and the work must have been sweet.
Before Adam sinned, he had it easy. There were no swarms of bugs, no thistles and weeds, no hot sun bearing down with intense, scorching heat. He even had Eve as helper, one who was of him, one who was his companion and of like mind, one who loved the tending. It must have been pleasure to tend the garden. Sweet pleasure.
But Genesis 3 brings bad, sad news. Adam's disobedience to one simple command brought death to himself and to his posterity (that's us, folks!). His disobedience to one simple command brought death, destruction and chaos into the creation. It is not only we who suffer...the animal and plant kingdoms were also thrown into disarray. Everything is broken.
After Adam's sin this is how the Creator put it to him,
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
"Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return."
So there I was this morning, swatting bugs, pulling weeds at my feet, sweating in the early morning muggy heat.
I love it that as Adam's children God still puts inside us the urge to "tend the garden". Some folk enjoy flowers. Some like to landscape the front yard. Some enjoy growing bushels and bushels of vegetables to can or freeze or to eat fresh. Oh, how we anticipate that first ripe tomato or the first few ears of sweet corn! It's as if we are remembering the joy of goodness that Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden.