When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and the woman heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called out, “Where are you?”… “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
… Then the Lord God said, “My children… what have you done?” – Genesis 3
WHAT HAVE WE DONE? It’s a beautiful fall weekend here in North Carolina. A reminder – after the horrors of Friday’s Paris terror attacks – that the way this world was designed, and the opportunity that still remains (if only we can find a way to live the gospel out loud), is that of a beautiful home to enjoy, and to share.
With that in mind, my dad and I drove to Century Farm Orchards, 80-miles northwest and deep into the piedmont, to enjoy the day and to pick up some apple tree saplings. The air was fresh, and the orchards carried the aroma of the crisp, inviting fruit; the scene was a beautiful affirmation that the natural impetus of life always finds a way to lift the spirit with optimism and promise.
It wasn’t lost on me today, however, that the apple is the symbol used by the ancient storytellers to kick off the narrative of humankind’s tragic separation from God. Fact is, there’s a real battle going on, a soul-destroying conflict that’s been festering for thousands of years, and it’s rooted in our consuming desire to life independent of our essential need for God.
MISUNDERSTANDING: But we misunderstand what is at stake when we surrender to our Creator. Rather than lose ourselves, we actually find our true identity; rather than exchanging power for weakness, we give up our toxic focus on ourselves; rather than becoming less, giving self away always makes us more.
The strength gained from the apple dissolved the potency of God in and through us. The way back to God is through Christ’s self-giving, servant heart – it is by willingly giving away all claims we have to the power, and the arrogance, and the mortality that became ours the instant we identified with Adam and Eve’s apple-coup – and we all do.
“coup d’pomme” – noun: the original power-grab (backfired completely).
It was a good day. God showed me a lot. So why do I still want to sink my teeth into the delicious, duplicitous, fruit?
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.