Monday, February 11, 2008

Choose to Have a Better World

I've become very caught up in the Democratic primaries. I think everyone has. Voting numbers have skyrocketed throughout these elections. There's something in the air - unidentifiable, yet still has the attention of millions. The possibility for change? Hope for a better world? Equality and justice for all? I still can't put my finger on it.

I heard one of the most intriguing sermons yesterday. The pastor at the church Bruce and I have been attending was preaching on "The Fall" - the story in Genesis 3 in the Garden; the serpent convinces Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge and suddenly her eyes were opened.

There has been a lot of speculation on what would have happened had Eve not eaten from the tree. It seems to most that the world would actually be a better place - the tree was what was separating us from the knowledge of good and evil.

Before yesterday, I don't think I'd ever want to preach on this story. Why would I want to talk about the fact that the first human's (okay - the first woman) were/was technically responsible for "the fall" - for the way the world is now. But I suddenly have a new perspective.

Ever since the beginning of my Con Ed experience at MUST Ministries this year, I've been asked by residents of the Elizabeth Inn Shelter why, exactly, I volunteer? When I explain to them that it's part of my curriculum, they smile and say something to the effect of "ohhh, so you're being forced to do this." Well - technically, yes. I am. I used to try to fight this, but I've finally allowed myself to admit that yes, in fact, I'm being forced to volunteer to fullfill a requirement.

I keep thinking to myself - wouldn't it be wonderful if my volunteerism was a result of a choice that I made?

This is where the Garden comes back it. Before The Fall, there wouldn't have been a choice between good and evil. But now there is. Because of The Fall, we now have the choice to step forward and take a stand for peace, justice and equality. It's not something that we do because we're forced to. It's something we're doing because we're making the choice to do it; because we believe in something strong enough; because we want to do it; because it's the right thing to do.

In a way, Adam and Eve did us a favor.

As we approach the halway point for the primaries, it's amazing how much individual choice is dominating in our culture. We can choose to have a better world. We just need to make the choice.

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