The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:7-9
I entered a persuasive speech competition in college. I managed second place. My topic: We should abandon all technology.
I had recently read a book on all the damage being done to the planet by pollution. I decided to take the position that the only way to save the planet was to stop everything; manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, and even medicine. Everything. I spoke about the inevitable die back that would happen, but how it’s bound to come anyway. Let’s just bite the bullet, so to speak, and do the right thing. I took that extreme stance mostly as an intellectual exercise. I experimented with the concept of going overboard to make a point.
I hadn’t thought of that for many years, but a recent experience brought it all to mind again. I visited a steel manufacturing facility on a sales call. “Facility” doesn’t do the place justice. This is a sprawling campus; roughly ten square miles. It has its own railroad and railway equipment repair building. I didn’t get to see the blast furnaces, but that’s fine with me. What I saw was…enough.
It took my colleagues and I a solid two hours just to get our passes, process ID’s, and even watch 40 minutes of training videos on all of the ways I could die on the other side of the fence. There was a test afterwards.
For example, hazardous gasses. They use a LOT of them. If I were to see someone keel over, I should not under any circumstances try to help them; they’re already dead. I was told to run like I stole something and get the hell out of Dodge before the gas got to me too.
I couldn’t wait.
What got me going was the one foreman we spoke with. This guy was a talker, but all he could talk about was the job, the hours he put in, etc. He didn’t want to let us go. He needed a human touch, and just wanted some company away from the mill and the ever-deafening noise, so we stood outside listening to him way longer than was necessary. That’s when it hit me.
The vital part of human beings is one of the raw materials that are burned in the furnaces and milled like the steel under tons of pressure between the rollers. I watched as huge coils of steel were gradually milled down to .008” thickness.
That’s where our razor blades and pop cans come from.
Razor blades. And pop cans.
As we finally drove toward the exit, I looked across this blasted landscape that had been built just over 100 years ago. I took in the furnaces in the distance which were lit way back then and never shut off since. We rolled past old brick buildings which showed their age in architecture and dirt. Even the newer buildings looked old.
And I thought of Eden. Trees, lush with leaves and fruit. Grass, cool and green under foot. Horses and lions walking across each other’s’ paths, and beautiful birds flying about, singing the songs God gave them.
And the snake.
I wish I could show Adam and Eve the future they chose for us, even though that wasn’t their intent. I wish we could abandon technology and go back to what God intended. But I’ve seen a few episodes of Naked and Afraid. The ol’ place just isn’t what it used to be.
My pastor got a few laughs recently on a sermon. He noted that he hates nature and going out in it. Picnics are silly (and I agree). There’s always something trying to take your food away from you from ants and bees to seagulls and squirrels. Everything out there wants to eat everything else out there. We’re on the menu too.
Satan is the Prince of the Air who owns earth at this point I time. I can’t help thinking that steel mill is one of his get-away cottages.
No, we can’t go back. But we can go forward. Jesus came here. He came, He saw, and He conquered. He conquered sin, death, and Pointy Ears.
We can move forward, riding the coattails of Jesus’ victory. We can look forward to a new Eden in the end, The End that has no end. Nothing but the mansions Jesus told us He went to prepare for us, unfiltered communion with Him and God, and all of eternity to lap it up is ours for the accepting of His salvation.
Just say, “Jesus! I know I’m a sinner, and I can’t save myself. I hate being riddled with sin, I hate the things I do, and my only hope is You!”
If you seek Jesus with your whole heart, you’ll find Him. He promised.
I’ll meet you there!