As many of you know, one of my main focuses has been the “living life in balence” principle. Rest/work, study/play family/solitude etc. You get the picture. For an artist this can be very difficult to do, as for me, my emotions can be very changeable (colitis issues, pressure of work and life etc.) Today I write this to you, while sitting in my dressing gown and PJ’s, stressed from a full morning of work and difficult projects. Feeling low, tired, undervalued and unappreciated in a few areas of life. Anyways I don’t want to get too focused upon that, after all that isn’t why we are here today…. During a time of study this past Tuesday I came across this story, which set things in a new light…
The tale of two trees.
“God put the first couple in a garden that contained two special trees. The Tree of Life is theirs to enjoy, but not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Tree of Life is a beautiful image – suggesting health, strength, thriving, fruitfulness, growth, vigour and all we mean by aliveness. What might that second tree signify? There are many answers, no doubt. But consider this possibility: the second tree could represent the desire to play God and judge parts of God’s creation – all of which God considers good – as evil.
Do you see the danger? God’s judging is wise, fair, true, merciful and restorative. But our judging is frequently ignorant, biased, retaliatory and devaluing. So when we judge, we inevitably misjudge.
If we humans start playing God and judging good and evil, how long will it take before we say this person or tribe is good and deserves to live, but that person or tribe is evil and deserves to die, or become our slaves?
How long will it take before we judge that this species of animal is good and deserves to survive, but that one is worthless and can be driven to extinction?
Or that this land is good and deserves to be preserved, but that river is without value and can be plundered, polluted or poisoned?
If we eat from the second tree, we will soon become violent, hateful and destructive. We will turn our blessing to name and know into a licence to kill, to exploit and to destroy both the Earth and other people.
God sees everything as good, but we will accuse more and more things of being evil. In so doing, we will create in ourselves the very evil we claim to detect in others. In other words, the more we judge and accuse, the less we will reflect Goodness . . .
The story presents us with our challenge as human beings. We constantly make a crucial choice: Do we eat from the Tree of Aliveness – so that we continue to see and value the goodness of creation and so reflect the image of the living God? Or do we eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – constantly – constantly misjudging and playing God and as a result mistreating our fellow creatures?”
There have been many challenges in this last few weeks that I have had to face. Disruptive and difficult art lessons, students booking and no showing, a rude and difficult client. However, compared to the challenges that face the world today mine are small. I hope you read this and take the time to think about it. All week long, it has been a small whisper reminder in my heart and ear that simply asks… “Which tree are you feasing from?”
Except from ( We build the road by walking it)