Driving to London’s Heathrow Airport early this Monday morning and getting stuck in various traffic jams got me thinking about what God thinks when he looks from above as all the humans scurry here and there in their little metal machines. Was this really why He created us? One thought led to another as I watched drivers constantly changing lanes to gain a second here and a second there. I stayed put, thinking that it is all just swings and roundabouts anyway. And it was the roundabouts that were causing most of the problems.
I arrived safely despite the roundabouts. As I write I am sitting in the BA lounge at Heathrow where I have a bird’s eye view across the security checkpoints, which provide another interesting side to humanity as people queue knowing that there is nothing they can do about it. Some folk sail through security while others get pulled over because they have left items in their bags that should have been taken out and placed on the trays. Some smile and some complain. Was this really why God created us?
I was wondering why God didn’t stop before Adam and Eve. Wouldn’t it have been better to keep humans away from something so beautiful as the Garden of Eden? But God went ahead and created Adam and then Eve. He gave them one rule only, but knew from the start that they would break that rule, meaning that He would have to remove them from Eden. I am certain that every one of us would have broken that one rule eventually, had we been given the opportunity to start out in Eden. God knew that and He still created us. Why? Whatever was He thinking about?
The simple explanation is love. We have to accept that we don’t have a chance of understanding God’s motives for doing or not doing things, which include God looking at each one of us before He made us and loving us despite what He saw. And because He loved us he decided to give each of us the opportunity to respond to His love. This is why He lets us live and breathe and do life in our queues and our busy-ness, negotiating our swings and our roundabouts, making a mess of stuff, but still occasionally bringing a smile to His face. God looked beyond Eden and saw the potential in each and every human being He planned to create.
But what about the obstacles we place between us and God in the form of all the bad and stupid stuff we do? God had an answer for that too. He sent His son Jesus to walk alongside humanity and take the punishment that should have been ours. That really is looking beyond Eden.
If God can look beyond Eden then I guess that the challenge is for us to do the same – every time we look at another human being. Sadly it is far easier to judge folk than love them, or to see the potential that God sees when He looks at them.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)