Perhaps it was the beautiful, soft moon last night. Perhaps it was the wind and rain on my window in the predawn hours. I awoke in the dark, my mind already active and exploring the past, recent and distant.
I’m preparing for an Americana presentation on Monday when I’m going to use a new Powerpoint picture slide show. I was thinking about the Badlands of South Dakota and how rich they are in Paleontological history. Not only are there remains of saber-toothed cats, but dog-sized, three-toed horses. There is evidence of a huge array of extinct creatures from a habitat obliterated by a massive volcanic explosion.
My readers are thinkers. You know that mental-spiritual zone first thing in the morning when your mind is clear and open, influenced by dreams and and fresh from rest. I lay still in my bed, thinking of the vast array of vanished life. Yet the scriptures say that the Fall of Adam introduced death into the world. How can that be?
It seems to me that time is culprit. Our human insistance on time binding our understanding causes confusion. The little corner of my mind in conscious use cannot comprehend a sphere where time does not apply. But God declares that He is not subject to it. The past, present and future are all one to Him.
Time explains the need or purpose of planting a garden for Adam and Eve. I think it was a protected sphere, a realm where food grew spontaneously and animals ate only the food that sprang from the earth. There was no aging or death because within the realm of the Garden, time did not exist. Adam and Eve went naked because there were no seasons to mark time’s passage and they were never uncomfortable. God visited them and in many ways, they dwelt in God’s timeless realm, innocent and immature. Perhaps the reason they could not have chilldren within the Garden is because without time, they could not mature, mentally, or physically.
But perhaps time did exist outside the garden. Species rose and fell and nature struggled according to natural law, time and chance. While Adam and Eve had no sense of time passing, and indeed, perhaps time didn’t “pass” for them at all. Outside the Garden, millions of years may have “passed” unaffected by the Garden. And what was the nature of the Garden itself? Could the two realms cooexist in the same place at the same time? Did God use the word “Garden” to indicate a Paradisiacal realm unexplainable to a mortal mind?
So when Eve and Adam made a choice to act contrary to the rule God had given them, they knew that they were no longer compatible with the realm in which they lived. Perhaps the were “cast out” because when they lost their innocence by acting contrary to God’s instructions, it became impossible for them to live in a realm contrary to their new nature.
God and science don’t contradict each other. We know that God can not lie. He explains the Creation of the world in super-simple terms that his children can understand. Science hints that there is much more to know about the process. I believe God left all the evidence of vanished ecosystems to help us recognize how little we know of His ways and to turn to Him, learn from Him, to wonder and to stretch.
Throw time out of the mix in the protected state or “garden” where Adam and Eve were placed until they chose to leave. Include time in the natural world where dinosaurs finished eating eachother and then were obliterated by some natural event and were replaced by three-toed-tiny horses and it all makes sense.
Another morning, when my mind is not yet muddied by the daily worries, I intend to contemplate the ramifications of the Great Flood. Why did men live ten times longer before the flood than after the flood? Was it a necessary “baptism” to remake the world where the children of God could live in the natural world: a final blending of the two realms where man can live both spiritually and physically successfully? Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps it’s too late in the morning to figure that one out!