We seldom think about a treasure we have been given, namely, the freedom to disobey. Is there a monarchy in all of history where the king’s subjects are free to ignore his commands and scorn his wishes? And here the creator of the universe complains, “My people do not listen to me!”
As parents watching our children mature, we sometimes are aggravated by their disobedience, but at the same time we want them to become secure and confident adults who can make up their own minds and not always look over their shoulder for “what Mommy and Daddy want” them to do. In other words, we want them to be free of us, their parents.
Some Jewish scholars interpret the Garden of Eden story not as a “fall” into sin, but as a paradigm of human development into independent adulthood. Human disobedience grieves God and has caused enormous suffering to the human family. But the Creator thought it worth the risk; God honours us with the freedom to disobey.
O Giver of life, source of our being, inspire me to use the gift of freedom wisely. Amen. — GHN