Being in Eden
In June I wrote to you about my blue box of spiritual petit fours, and how each month we will taste and enjoy one of these snippets of scripture. I had discovered the blue box while sorting items as we prepared to move. Today, I’m writing to you from my office in our new house! The room contains a chair, a small writing table, and the contents of boxes I have been unpacking—the floor is littered with papers and books. Mysteriously, the blue box has yet to reappear! It seems to be missing, but I’m sure it will turn up. It is probably in another room, patiently waiting to be unpacked. Until then, there is one petit four I had taken out of the box before we moved, and which I have been savoring.
The petit four for this month is Genesis 3:8a (NIV). It says: Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
I have been contemplating this image of God, and of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. I am sure that Adam and Eve listened for and were familiar with the sound of their Lord God when he took his walk in the garden during the cool evenings. I am also inclined to think that Adam and Eve, after a day of hard work (Genesis 2:15), waited in eager expectation for this portion of the day, so that they could join God and spend time walking and talking with him. This was a daily opportunity to catch up with their creator about everything that was going on in their lives—their plans, troubles, and joys. Maybe they discussed God’s creation and the day’s labor, their management of that creation.
I wonder what would have happened if Adam and Eve had talked to God about the temptation that confronted them (Genesis 3:1-5) before they acted on it. This temptation led them to sin. Sin had been waiting for them (Genesis 4:7) to open the gate and let it into the garden, and into their lives. They had an opportunity to slam that gate shut. Instead of allowing sin entry, they could have run to God. They could have brought the temptation they faced to God during the evening walk.
Even after the couple had sinned, walking and talking with God in the cool of the day was still a time and place where they could have confessed their wrongdoing, instead of hiding from him and making excuses (Genesis 3:8b-13).
Since reading the words of Genesis 3:8, I have been imagining the place that I come on a regular basis to walk and talk with God as my Eden. Below, you can read about my practice of being in Eden. I go there early in the morning, rather than in the evening, to commune with God. I enjoy this time as it gives me a chance to walk and talk with him about the things that are happening in my life, before my day gets too busy.
I encourage you to find your own Eden—a physical place where the beauty of God’s creation breaks into your world and reminds you of the first Eden—and a convenient time when you can take a break from your daily work, commitments, and other interests to enjoy being with your heavenly Father. It will be a place and a time where you will hear God, and be eager to join him and talk about everything: your daily activities, the temptations you face, and the forgiveness you can receive when you have messed up.
Click here to access a copy of the prayer exercise “Being in Eden” that you can use in your own Eden. This is a simple exercise that will allow you to focus on being with your heavenly Father in a place where you can easily talk and listen to him. The exercise is available in a handy, condensed format for you to print out and use during your prayer time. You will also find a journal entry from my own practice of being in Eden.