Adam and Life
THEY SAY 6 degrees separate every human being on this planet. Every person that’s ever lived, every human being that will come after we die is connected to us. No matter who you are you can say this: “I am connected to a human web and I am bound to everyone on this planet by a trail of people.”
Once though there was only one. But latent inside of that one was an entire world. In that sense, you could say that every life represents a future world that comes after it and that is why every life matters. When a life dies, all of the potential life that could come after dies with it. When an oak tree passes on, all of the future acorns that would have fallen from the tree also are lost. That is why the sum of one life cannot be measured. The taking of life is despicable enough but if one considers the loss of generations it is an exponential destruction of worlds lost. Consider the families that would have come from that one life. If, the taking of life is the loss of a potential world, then the saving of one life is most extraordinary because in the saving of one life, an entire world is saved.
It was the Sabbath day. It was a day of rest, for when he awoke and looked at the world nothing was missing. Sure there would be work to be done but this was after all his first day. It was a day of wonder and awe for it was his birthday. It was also ours. We were given a gift and perhaps that is why in that honor all birthdays everywhere now include gifts. It was the type of gift a toddler gets and doesn’t fully comprehend.
Our gift was this world. His name was Adam. There was the opportunity to make the most of this gift but for today we were to honor the one who was resting and had just breathed into us life.
If there is any place that gives us the notion of a God who wants to be personally involved with humanity, it is at the beginning of time. Have you ever noticed how the creation narrative has a pyramidal approach? It starts with the creation of massive amounts of heavenly bodies in aggregate. Whole planets, stars and a universe yet to be explored, it then crescendos upward with birds flung into the sky and fish plunged into the sea. All of it in six days but then on the seventh day, it is as though God slows down to finalize creation with his ultimate achievement. God spends an entire day with the final flip of his brush devoted to man. And one man…
Notice that it would have been just as easy for a God wielding planets to start humanity off with a million, fifty thousand, or even a hundred? Instead, the creation of the entire world begins with just one. The Sabbath was made for man because on the eve of it we were created. As the Talmud says, Adam was created so no one could say to their fellow man, “My father is greater than your father.” Adam as the first man was not just one man. He was every man. We are all Adams at our beginning.
The most powerful proof of the infinite value of human worth and life is the fact that the world started with one life. If anyone would have killed Adam, there would have been no future generations.
Every human being today is a potential Adam. Kill a person and you cut off a future world. Save one person and you are responsible for saving their entire world.
Life matters to God. This is why we in the church world believe so strongly in adoption, in having children and why we believe ending life is so dangerous, why abortion is so crazy. When you adopt someone you not only save them you save their future world. I can go around and around about when does life begin but everyone is an Adam.
All of this points to God creating a being that was so important he was content to have just one. If I can point to any Scripture and say this is how I know God values individual life, its here at the very beginning.
God was content with the closeness and fellowship He had established with a man.
Relationship wanted. You’re not a number, a market, a tax deduction or a demographic statistic. You are a person and God wants a one-on-one, personal relationship with you and for you. All things considered, what we know about God points to the fact that he craves relationship with you. He started with one relationship and cultivated a relationship between two in a garden. He’s in the personal relationship business.
Why would God want man to be the focal point of his creation? Why would man have more freedom? Why more capacity to choose almost any path? Free agency leads to two conclusions. There is no God. Or that there is a God and what he wants cannot be gained through compulsion. If there is no God, then why is there so much good? Consider trying to protect a pet from all danger and simultaneously give it complete freedom. It is difficult and perhaps impossible. It seems that a good God would not require the force of the will. If we have any notion about believing in a good God and freedom this must be the conclusion.
God gives man the ability to be creative. Imagine what joy comes from watching something you created be part of the creative process. God starts with one and then two because He wants us to be part of the creative process. You and I are His fingerprints on a canvas of chaos. And yet as chaos theory demonstrates, the butterfly effect of your life could ripple into eternity. You are his workmanship created so that you might extend His canvas in your own little square inch of the piece of the paint that he put you in. So that if your uniqueness is that you are a certain shade of red – be red like no one else can be.
The greatest things in life cannot be bartered or sold. They are given but never can they be truly purchased. The very act of purchase makes their premise inauthentic. God gives humanity freedom of the will for one purpose and that is the capacity to relate. Relationship requires free agency. In choosing who we are and whom we love, we establish that we have choice. With our choice we can chose either creation or destruction. This is why praying, writing, serving, adopting, speaking, acting and all of the other things we can do with our creative selves is a demonstration of our relationship to God. It is how we show off our relationship.
The very nature of things is relationships. The world as we know it is so integrated and related that we don’t even recognize it at times. We have devoted entire lifetimes of study to it by breaking it down into manageable sciences. From human psychology, anthropology and sociology to macroeconomics, mathematics and biological science the connections are astounding. Perhaps though if you are like many of us you can begin to feel like the connections are impersonal. As impressive as how related the world is to each us, what keeps us warm at night is not affinity but proximity. It is intimacy that keeps couples full of warmth. Introduce duplicity into the mix and watch love run cold. The city’s grandeur is lost on the orphans who roam its streets because they cannot call home. Any orphan will tell you that it is not calling home that they long for but father or mother calling them home. All of us are orphans without a sense of calling, one time or another. At the end of the day, what really matters is this: Points to the acorn. And how we relate to this…. We are all Adams and Eves. And we need each other.