magnolia high

I have always wondered what made Eve say yes to the serpent in the garden that day. Just as daughters blame their mothers for all sorts of things, I blame the first mother for the very existence of the serpent! I fuss and ask her “What were you thinking?!”

[Stick with me! I promise this post is not about animals!!]

In the following passage, we see that the difficulty to say “No!” even plagued the world’s first woman! This pressure that we feel to say “Yes” began with a forbidden fruit tree in the Garden of Eden.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” 

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’” 

“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. – Genesis 3: 1-7, HCSB

On a recent morning stroll, I noticed how lovely the magnolia trees were. The blooms were simply magnificent. Their fragrance was intoxicating. The smooth green leaves shone like patent leather against the stark contrast of ivory-white flowers. The beauty of the unfolding flowers on a sea of green simply took my breath away.

For a moment, my head was spinning from the sweet smell drawing me closer. I drew a sharp breath and steadied myself against the magnetic forces drawing me towards the tree. I was inhaling so deeply, like I could capture all the fragrance in one breath.

I could only focus on the tree. It was like I was “under the influence” of an aroma and on a “magnolia high!” 

As I was fighting temptations to climb the tree and live there, because that seemed like a great idea, I decided to cut Eve a little bit of slack. If that forbidden fruit tree in the Garden of Eden smelled anything like this blossoming magnolia, then I totally get it! Y’all, girlfriend must have been high too! Yes! A ‘magnolia high’ completely explains her senseless behavior. If my theory is right, then who can blame her?

Back to the story:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 

And he said, “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” 

Then He asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 

Then the man replied, “The woman You gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 

So the Lord God asked the woman, “What is this you have done?”

And the woman said, “It was the serpent. He deceived me, and I ate.” – Genesis 3:  8-13, HCSB

I am curious how Eve felt in the aftermath of her ‘high.’ Surely, a wave of emotions must have swept in and engulfed her.

Was she overcome with feelings of guilt for saying yes and taking the fruit?

Did she chide herself for even talking to the serpent in the first place?

Was she disappointed with herself for not seeking her husband’s input first?

Did she and her husband argue about the whole encounter later and for days to come?

Do any of these questions sound familiar? How often do you regret decisions that you have made?

Whether it is rash or well-thought-out, the decisions we make can haunt us for years to come, especially when the outcomes are not favorable. The scenario will play over and over in our minds, as we play our different endings and better choices we could have made: “If only I had done this…” and “things could have been better if I had only said this…” These mind games are exhausting!

The opposites of decision are hesitation and indecisiveness; both are often projected negatively in our culture. Why are these words associated with weakness?

If a conclusion to a case cannot be reached, more evidence is usually gathered. The same applies to a verdict in a court of law. Should the same principles not apply to determinations we must make in our personal lives? Perhaps some hesitation and time to think could lead to healthier decision-making.

Views of Eve range from a ‘weak woman’ to a ‘strong woman’ who had a moment of weakness. My perspective has softened over the years, and now, I simply think of Eve as a fellow woman! We have all found ourselves in sticky situations and regretted rash decisions that we have made. Her story is no different!

My hope is that we may learn a little something about ourselves and others from Eve’s story. The truth is that we all make mistakes; no human is perfect! We are so quick to judge ourselves and others around us.

Take time to think a decision over, especially when the answer is unclear. Beware of intoxicating situations and temptations. My friends, God will never tempt you or lure you in with a fleeting blessing. Anything He places before us will be steady and unwavering and never a tease. It will not come with an “act now, hurry while supplies last” feeling.

I trust that our God wants to truly bless us! He delights in giving us the desires of our hearts! (Psalm 37:4)

After all, forgiveness of SIN is the whole reason that Jesus came to earth! In his death on the cross, He paid for ALL OF OUR sins … past, present, and future!

That, my friends, is GRACE! Amazing, unwavering, unquenchable.

Now, let us take that remarkable gift of life that He gave us and, in turn, extend that same loving grace to both ourselves and to those around us.

HCSB = Holman Christian Standard Bible

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