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|Thursday, October 12, 2017|
The crowd was thick as we ambled down the pathway of the Creation Museum snapping pictures and connecting the dots of Scripture with the visuals before us. So much to see: fossils, animals, life-sized dinosaurs (they move and make noise) and Disneyesque animated Bible characters. As we made a turn, we entered a recreation of the Garden of Eden.
Pristine vegetation was densely populated by animals of all kinds. In a cluster of critters sat Adam himself, giving names to these furry friends. We noted several creatures that you and I would be terrified to meet in a forest today. But in Eden, they were calm and friendly.
Around another turn, we saw Adam talking with Eve in the shade of the garden. They looked so relaxed, so real, so perfect. All was well in Eden.
Still another scene showed the first couple splashing in a brook, thick with water lilies. High above them—but not too high—coiled a serpent secretly despising their unbroken happiness, perhaps brooding over his planned offer of forbidden fruit.
Finishing up this portion of our tour, it was time for lunch, after which I confessed to Diana I felt like I had rushed through the Garden of Eden and really wanted to go back.
This time I savored every second, every view, entirely immersed in the scene. And once again, I left Eden, reconnecting with Diana at Noah’s Cafe.
As she was comfortably reading a book, she was more than happy to oblige my request for a third walk-through. It was as if I was chasing Eden.
Somewhere in that recreated perfection, I stumbled on to the truth. I want the real Eden. I want to splash in the unbroken happiness of God’s presence, hanging out in a place entirely free of selfishness or greed or pride or sin of any kind. I long to hear the footsteps of God walking in the cool of the Garden.
But what’s next for Christ followers is better than a restored Eden. It’s heaven. Unbroken fellowship with the King of the universe in an untainted land where no serpent will ever tempt again.
Perhaps, like me, you hunger for Eden. May I encourage you to set your sights higher? “Set your minds on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:2). As Spurgeon put it, “Christian, anticipate heaven…Within little time you will be rid of all your trials and your troubles.”
How great will that be? Better—much better—than Eden!
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