‘Wouldn’t it be cool to know everything?’
Sara sat on the settee, legs folded underneath her, cold hands wrapped around a mug of coffee. She stared at me, waiting for my answer.
‘What d’you mean?’ I replied.
‘I mean …’ she continued. ‘Don’t you think that we are our own God, and we should be able to figure everything out for ourselves, and manage our own lives?’
‘That’s a scary thought!’ I replied. ‘Do you think we’re capable of that? Just look at the world today?’
‘Yeah, but do we need a greater being to watch over us?’
‘There’s a verse in the Bible which says that God has revealed things for us to know, and the other things are His secrets, and not for us to know ––.’
‘Why not?’ Sara intervened. ‘I mean why should God not let us know everything …. if there is a God? If I knew everything then I could solve some of the problems in the world.’
‘Wow! That’s a tall order … I mean, would you be capable of that? Isn’t that a little naive. If –– ?’
‘Course not! … If I knew what God knows then why not?’
Sara was an atheist, but still curious about God. She had been my friend for many years since we met at university where she was studying philosophy and I was studying for my degree in accountancy. It was strange that we had met. I was a Christian, she wasn’t, but we had jelled, and every since then we met regularly. We were just friends. I had a girlfriend, she had a boyfriend. We enjoyed each others company, our discussions, and that was all.’
‘It seems I’ve heard this argument before,’ I continued. ‘It didn’t end well.’
‘Really! …. Why?’ she asked.
‘Have you heard of the proverb, curiosity killed the cat?’
‘Yeah … sure, she replied. ‘Who hasn’t?’
‘Well, that’s what killed us … the human race I mean … curiosity … as well as disobedience.’
Sara looked at me, puzzled, waiting for me to continue.
‘A woman called Eve had the same desire as you. To be God. Knowing good and evil. Knowing everything. She wanted to be wise, to take charge over her own life. She wanted to delve into the things that were hidden from her. It didn’t go well for her, or for us!’
‘Oh! … I’ve heard that story before. I don’t believe it … I mean, all that talk about a tree with apples on, and serpents, and things. It’s just a fairy tale,’ she replied.
‘Whatever,’ I said, defensively. ‘The fact is that God asked her to obey Him on this one thing and she didn’t. Try and put yourself in the bigger picture. Here’s a beautiful land full of good things …. and lots and lots of trees! God said you can have everything. Look after it all - but leave this one tree alone. Eat from the thousands that are all around you. But what did she do? She went for the one thing that God told her to stay away from. It’s the same today. God has shown us everything we need to have a fruitful life, but we want the things that He won’t give us. We want to be in control, and even though the story, as you say, may be metaphorical, or a fairy tale, the message is still the same. Eve was curious about what she couldn’t have, but instead of leaving it alone, she decided that she’d disobey God and eat from what had been forbidden.’
‘An apple!’ Sara replied condescendingly.
‘Listen …. there’s a message here for us … it’s important!’
I was being dogmatic. I realised this, and Sara drew back from me, I could see it in her eyes.
‘Sorry …. but can’t you see what I am saying. Do the two arguments not add up?’
She nodded, ‘I know ….. I think I understand.’
‘The story is not about an apple, or a tree! It’s about humbling ourselves before God and accepting that He knows better than we do. Eve’s curiosity not only killed her, and her husband, but had consequences for all of creation, even today! Her rebellion severed our relationship with God, alienated us. We lost all that we could have ever had.’
Sara looked at me. I could see that she was trying to understand. I whispered a quiet prayer for her.
‘More coffee,’ I said, taking her mug, going into the kitchen, and leaving her alone for a while with her thoughts.
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