The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:15 – 17)

When I was a small child I had a pretty limited world view – or at least that is what my scant memories of childhood tell me. I do not remember much of my childhood. Less, I think, than other people. One memory that sticks out in my mind is living in a tall apartment building. I was playing in the back with a friend and we decided to go inside to play – or at least I remember we were outside and then went back inside to go up to my apartment. I knew reliably we had to go in to the up and down machine, push the right button (I knew which button it was) and then go up to my apartment that was a certain door. I had done it plenty of times. This time, however, the elevator got stuck with us in it. And my world view was shattered. It had always worked before. I think, beloved reader, my world view was shattered a great deal in my childhood and that is why, I suspect, I do not remember much of it.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”(Chapter 3, verses 1 – 5)

Adam and Eve were, for all intents and purposes, like children. They were told something and that is what they believed. Perhaps because they had been told to avoid it, they had kept away from the middle of the garden. In my case, my mother had told me the elevator was safe, and so that it what I believed, and used it without fear. It is when we push the boundaries that we learn, to our regret, that surface appearances do not always match what the deeper reality is.

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.” (Verses 6)

You might wonder, beloved reader, how my experience connects to the situation in the Garden of Eden. Well, I do not know for sure that I was allowed to ride the elevator alone. It might have been that my mother told me to stay down in the protected playground of the apartment complex and that she would come get me when it was time to come up. Maybe I decided on my own to go up to my apartment, and having been told how the elevator works I thought I could do it myself.

“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” (Verse 7)

What I do know is that by the time my friend and I were released from the trapped elevator I was frantic, and so was my mother. I also realized as a child I was vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances. That my world was not as safe and predictable as I thought it was. One moment I was safe in a world I thought I knew the parameters and wheres & whys for. Next thing I know I am trapped with no way out. So I can appreciate how Adam and Eve were flooded by their realization of being vulnerable and exposed. Growing up, beloved reader, is hard. Selah!