The perfection of Eden is imprinted deep in our souls. And we naturally long to return when life is hard and things are not as they should be. But while there are many joys to relish in this life with God, we create a false Eden whenever we try to recreate an ideal world or experience apart from God.
To be sure, we’ve been called to co-labor with Christ in his work of redemption – doing our part to bring more life and goodness into the world. And we allow much unnecessary suffering and darkness to reign when we don’t exercise our authority to advance his kingdom of light.
But we must be careful not to simply try to make life good again on our own terms, and without God. And this can be done in big and small ways.
For instance, this desire for Eden might be behind our obsession with finding the perfect vacation spot, overindulging in food and drink, or being preoccupied with having the ultimate sexual experience every time.
And, on a larger scale, this is the desire for everyone to get with our program on how to handle social issues – believing we can recreate Eden if only everyone would do it our way.
Of course, there’s much good to be fought for and many joys to drink deeply in this world. And we shouldn’t sell ourselves short or let miseries continue when it’s within our power to make a difference. But we’re building on a sandy foundation whenever we pursue goodness and beauty apart from God – making an idol of our false Edens.
In the end, let your desire for Eden draw you ever closer to Christ as you eagerly wait for the restoration of all good things. And don’t let allure of false Edens tempt you to pursue the beauty your heart longs for apart from God.