Monday, July 26, 2010

The Eden Atmosphere

   If you have ever read Gary Chapman's book 'The Five Love Languages', you already know what your love language is. Mine, of course, is words of affirmation. I get great satisfaction from the usage of words, given and received. When I speak, I like to go into my mental garden and 'pick' the perfect words that will fit the occasion and conversation that I am engaged in. Like going into a flower garden and picking a variety of colors and textures of flora that I can bunch together and make a pleasing bouquet for me, and I hope for others, to enjoy.

   I think of myself as a collector of words, of sorts. I did not know this about myself until recently, when I really 'looked' at my office. If you come into my office, you will find on the shelves, six, very large dictionaries. One of which, weighs about 5 pounds. I have concordances, 7 or 8 translations of the Bible, and teaching books on various topics. But, if you look around closer, you'll discover notebooks and notebooks of various sizes and thicknesses of thoughts, ideas, concerns, and dreams, some are one-liners and some are very long and detailed. If you look in one particular drawer, in my office, you will uncover stacks of letters, thank you cards, birthday cards, newspaper clippings, and the like, from students, friends, and those I love from over the years. They are words of flowers that have made me happy and made me smile. I save it all.

   If you look at where my chair is in the living room and the 'chair' in the bathroom, I have magazines, books, and all sorts of reading material. I rather enjoy verbiage. I get great pleasure from surrounding myself with words and using them on a regular basis. I really never got in trouble in school because of talking, I was quiet in school, but, boy was I an observer. And as and observer, I was collecting thoughts and opinions on every topic that my eyes and ears came into contact with. I always excelled in English, vocabulary, and spelling. In fact, when I was in school, my counselor brought me to her office and showed me some tests scores from the 9th grade from those subjects and I was in college level, like second year, 5th month! I chose to dance instead.

   Philosophers have found words as objects of fascination since at least the 5th Century BC, I am fascinated by them as well, not so much the history of them, but the way they make me feel. The right words soothe me, bathe me, heal me, encourage me, and make me feel loved. So, of course you know what the wrong words do to me. Whether it's written words or spoken words, I love them all.

   I'm a giver of words, also. Thus, the blogging. I know everyone is not into words like I am, like everyone is not into gardening where the beautiful bouquets of varieties of words come from. But have you ever stopped to realize how much God is into words and gardening? The account recorded in Genesis is: first, He brooded, second, He spoke. God is a Speaking Spirit and because we are made after His likeness, He made us the same way. We are speaking spirits, animals are not. God likes words so much that he put together a collection of His words that has withstood thousands of years, the Bible. He loves the written and spoken word, just like me ;-).

    He also loves gardens, with His words He planted a garden and gave man his first occupation. Gardeners. The 'First Couple of Humanity' would converse with their Originator in the garden that was planted with words. Whenever God shows up there has to be an atmosphere present for Him to be in. There's not a single time in the Bible that He came on the scene that an atmosphere was not first produced. There's an atmosphere that was in Eden, it was the atmosphere God made so His presence could come and talk with man. It was His spoken design. God's original concept was for man and woman to spread and expand Eden (the atmosphere, Eden means 'presence of God') until it covered the entire earth. But because of the disruption of the atmosphere during the fall of man, He had to seal off the physical Eden and go into a second plan.

   That second plan was the arrival of the second Adam. The atmosphere was a stable where millions of reenactments have been portrayed by churches across the world as well as the departure of the second Adam, Jesus on the cross and then His resurrection. All for what? Yes, so we can become born again and reunite with the One that got all of this going in the first place. Again, atmosphere was the prelude to the presence. But what was different this time was the atmosphere was set up INSIDE of humans. II Corinthians 6:16 states, "I'll live in them, move into them; I'll be their God and they'll be my people".

   God did not intend for Eden to remain in the Mesopotamia region. He wanted it to take over the earth. So it is with the new Eden inside of us. We are to spread the atmosphere, the garden, the fragrance, the beauty, the God-colors, the presence of God Himself, all over this world. If the atmosphere that you are presenting, as a Christian, is a small enclosed one, listen to Paul's words, "The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!". Then he goes into us being the temple of the Holy Spirit, an atmosphere. So if you've been eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...the atmosphere for God to visit is non-existent.

   If you feel deserted, dry, excommunicated, jilted, left for dead, alone, and any other word you can think of, ask yourself if and when have you set up the atmosphere for you two Spirits to speak with one another, lately. Is your inside Eden overgrown with weeds and pests because of negligence? Have you given up on gardening altogether? Is the atmosphere you're living in, right now, too messed up for Him to come in? Have you sewn leaves together and are hiding from His presence? Mixing the knowledge of good and evil always ends with this results.

   As long as you have a pulse, something can be done about that, but it takes your participation. The Eden atmosphere is dominated by you, set up by you. You dictate its expansion, its growth. Clean up your garden, ask for help and the grace to stop combining the sacred with the secular because..."How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? Does Christ stroll with the devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands?",  questioned Paul. I encourage you with everything I got...get your words collected, send a formal invitation and request the pleasure of your God's presence to your garden...the Eden atmosphere. 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! Keep it up... you're so talented!


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