Monday, September 26, 2011

Confessions of a Modern Eve

I don't drive a Prius.  I shop at Wal-Mart AND Target.  Often.  My 3-yr. old daughter has owned at least five Disney princess dresses and I've fawned over each one, playing the part of the Queen Fairy Godmother like the best of them.  I eat hormone-laden chicken and don't put the carcass in a compost when I'm done feasting.  The soles of my shoes are not made from recycled car tires and I take long, hot showers.  I'm more of a cheerio than I am granola.  Thus concludes the beginning of my confession.  Lest you think I work really hard to save the planet while my long skirt and long hair sways to the beat of a funky drum, I must prove you wrong.  Not for your sake, but for mine.
     Lets start at the beginning of my intent to try and reduce my rather large, rather imposing carbon footprint.  When I took the kids to Zuka Baby to buy the cloth diapers, I felt a little out of place.  And yes, I was tempted to dive on the McDonald's Happy Meal that stumbled out of the car when I opened Katherine's door.  Evil processed food.  And yes, I somewhat envied the cool calmness that radiated from the no-makeup, baby attached via a perfectly-wrapped-sling ladies that shopped amongst me.  Maybe its a lack of knowing who I really want to be, or maybe its a beautiful fluidity that keeps my personality evolving to prevent staleness.  I don't know.  But there are beliefs within me that pull to the natural, habits within me that pull to the familiar and sometimes artificial.
     Convictions are tricky.  You follow one and the temptation is to get lost in them all.  I am joyful with my cloth diapers.  Really I am, or I wouldn't have switched. The only hard part about the switch was knowing where to stop.  The wisdom of knowing that its okay to make small changes, and that if other parts of my life don't match my child's eco-friendly behind at least both sides of his back cheeks do.
     I am familiar with the thought process of feeling like there's always something more you could be doing.  But I also know that when I overwhelm myself with the "I should"'s, I lose the joy of the "I want"s.  I really want to cloth diaper.  I really do NOT want to drive two kids around in a Prius.  If we are so glum as to only point out things we should be doing or other people should be doing, we begin to follow the external laws of the un-convicted heart.  We lose the joys.  We engulf ourselves in feeling overwhelmed rather than empowered.  We descend the long staircase into the safe but smothering world of being trapped.  Safe from having to choose, but smothering from that same lack of choice.
 But therein lies the difficult part, being patient with the part of ourselves that haven't been redeemed.  The part of ourselves that are still very much attracted to that which is not the best.  The reckoning that you would have chosen, just like Eve, the damn apple that you KNEW would make your teeth ache for all of eternity, but you chose it anyway.  Because you were lazy, because you were hot and it looked nice and cool, because red is your favorite color, because Adam told you too, because for-crying-out-loud you were just having a bad day.  As I get older, I think less about how stupid Eve was and how I'd really like to read her the riot act one day.  I think more about how I'm really glad it wasn't me because I probably would have picked a whole bushel of apples and argued with God that if He hadn't created the apple in the first place, I would have kept my hands in my figgy pockets.  Because I know myself a little bit better now, or so I'd like to think.  Now when I read Genesis, I'm not surprised or even miffed at the sin.  Rather, I'm drawn to the mercy of God.  God didn't strike her down or even demean her ("You idiot!!" or "Really, Eve? Smooth move").  He gave her another chance.  I'd like to think she's in heaven.  That she didn't bemoan the fact that she brought down the equivalent of a rock-star curse upon all of humanity.  That she hoped, through her great fault God would bring great good.
     Even when we complain a thousand times or drive through McDonald's three times in one day (btw, haven't done this yet, but I know I'm not totally safe from doing it), we can still believe that God isn't done with us yet.  We can still believe that WE aren't done with us yet.  I can't save the planet.  I can't save my soul.  But I can make a tiny difference.  A sweet, tiny difference.


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