I know… typically, we see this title or phrase more in the form of “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt”. This is not an introduction to another way of looking a God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit… but, it is a way of seeing ourselves in that Trinity.
The Trinity… sometimes referred to as Blessed Trinity, or Holy Trinity is often described as; the union of three persons in one Godhead, or the threefold personality of the one Divine Being. Actually… the word ‘Trinity’ is not even used in the King James version of the bible… it is almost always used in the “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” form. In this wording, it has always referenced God… in all His forms… in many ways, in each of His ‘roles’, if you will.
My reference to “The Father, the Wife, and the Holy Smokes”, though… is how I view Adam… Eve… and that ‘beguiling serpent’ there on that fateful day in the Garden of Eden. See… I have a quirkie mind… an active imagination… something of an odd way of seeing things. I seem to put a picture to many of my memories and thoughts I have, and this helps me to grasp the situation or scenario. It helps me to dive-deeper… to mull-it-over… even to see things ‘from another angle’.
The three of them there… getting questioned by God… getting the 3rd degree for having disobeyed God’s one rule for us… getting “called on the carpet”, as it were. And… one by one, each of them passed ‘ownership’ for the calamity off to the other. Adam blamed the Woman… the Woman blamed the serpent… the serpent blamed God Himself (…shouldn’t have made me so good-look’n).
Let me back up a little more to help you see what troubles my heart about this ‘scene’. See… it hadn’t been all that far in the past before this event that God made “the heavens and the earth”, and saw that it was good. He made all the living creatures, the trees, the plants and bushes and the grass, too… and saw that it was good. He made all the animals and everything that ‘creeps on the earth and in the sea’… and saw that it was good. He even made Man in His own image and breathed life into him, too. Oddly…. God allowed Man to name all the animals. I mean… God ‘made’ all these things, but let Man name them.
Me? When I create something…. when I make something ‘from nothing’… when I take the time and care to put my all into a project, and stand back and admire it… appreciate it… even feel kinda proud of myself for it… like God, I think to myself, “it is good”. So, back on that fateful scene and God’s creation has gone-off-the-rails and set into motion such an utter disappointing calamity… surely God must have felt sorrow… God must have felt hurt… God must felt rather dismayed that His creation would betray Him in such a selfish and conniving way.
And there they stood… like a funky version of the Three Stooges making all their gestures… flailing hands… grunts and whoop-whoop noises… ever-so aware of the obvious and having been caught ‘dead to rights’… realizing their own demise was coming to reality… but, still finding a way to not own their role in the matter. Like a humanistic version of The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit… there they three are; The Father, the Wife, and the Holy Smokes. God’s version of the Trinity, but in a fallen and corrupted union. Not really a Blessed Trinity, right…. more like a Cursed Trinity.
Right here, though… right at this place you may be considering how humorous and actually relevant it is… this picture I have laid before you. You can easily see how those four there could actually have been dancing about during this encounter… it may even seem like one of those “that was then, and this is now” situation, and “what does this have to do with me”, let alone what does it have to do with any Coulda Hada Pear thoughts?
Consider for a moment how that Trinity is actually you all wrapped into one being!
Seem odd? If you really stop and give it good thought, God Himself is referred to as The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (something of a threefold personality of the one Divine Being). This picture of The Father, the Wife, and the Holy Smoke can certainly be you… can certainly be me… in so many ways. Consider this;
- We all have a Masculine Side
- We all have a Feminine Side
- We all have a Spiritual Side
That would help define a trinity of your life… a three-part or even three-legged-stool representation of our lives. Each of us are SO very different, but this trinity exists for all of us… some portion of us is masculine… some portion of us is feminine… and some portion of us is spiritual. Remember though… the beauty of a three-legged-stool is that no matter how long or short each of the legs are… the stool stands stable and firm. In many ways, it is identical for our lives… no matter how strong or ‘tall’ we are in one of these three components of our lives… we are still standing firm (usually). As you know… ‘the stool’ can still be knocked over. It may not be level, it may not appear to be balanced, it may not even be able to take the weight of someone sitting on it.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.“Ephesians 6:13 (KJV)
Sure… there are plenty of times in life when we stumble… falter… even fall and many times completely crash. Understand, this is not an exposé or in-depth review of the psyche of the human species… rather… I am working to help you see that the human ‘trinity’ of our lives is reflected in those “three stooges” standing there trying to explain to God why they knew they were naked… why they disobeyed… why they now were feeling the guilt, the shame, and certainly the depth of their faulty choice. Well… that stink’n serpent didn’t seem to be so torn about it all.
We all have some form of masculinity… some portion of us has a ‘macho’ spirit, or a ‘tough guy’ attitude, or even just a “I can stand for myself” approach to life. Again… this is not an exposé on gender rights… gender details or even gender preferences. Regardless of our gender, we all carry some potion or ‘part’ of masculinity in our lives. Masculinity also varies from one culture to another… Physique often comes to mind (body shape or size), but a person’s core personality and mindset… with traits like; strength, courage, independence, leadership, and assertiveness. Notice… these traits are non-gender!
We all have some form of femininity… some portion of us has a ‘tender’ or ‘gentle’ side of us… not a push-over by any means… rather an ability to handle matters with a calm and collected approach. Again… this is not an exposé on gender rights… gender details or even gender preferences. Regardless of our gender, we all carry some potion or ‘part’ of femininity in our lives. Being feminine also varies from one culture to another… Physique often comes to mind (body shape or size), but a person’s core personality and mindset… with traits like; gentleness, empathy, humility, and sensitivity. Notice… these traits are non-gender!
We all have some form of spirituality… some portion of us has an ability to think… to search our thoughts.. to reason and consider things that are not specifically physical or tangible… relating to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature… something even close to considering your interests, your attitude, your outlook, etc. Notice… these traits are non-gender!
Whew… maybe all that was not all so necessary, but I at least wanted to give some basic ground-work for tieing Adam, Eve, and ‘that serpent’ to some form of a Trinity… to get you to thinking about those three… that triad… that three-legged-stool… ultimately plotting against the God of all the earth. It is an effort to personalize that scenario right into your ‘today’ life… to realize that even now, we ‘dance that dance’ with God… our masculine side… our feminine side… and our spiritual side… all challenging God’s leading in our lives… what He “really” meant when He said something like this; “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16) This is only one of SO many scripture that you have been arguing over… that you have been debating with others about… that you have even used ‘as a reason’ to not follow God any longer!
See?? That is an “In or Out” statement… that is a “Yes or No” statement… that is a “Saved or Damned” statement… and almost immediately ‘the serpent’ of our lives begins negotiating with the feminine side of us, or the masculine side of us (attempting to divide-n-conquer) and our calamity begins anew!
If you have not noticed a pattern regarding our ‘fall’… regarding our ‘sin’… regarding our separation from God… notice these three pieces; 1) There is temptation, 2) there is reasoning, and 3) there is calamity. Each of these occur in the middle of that Free-Will choice you are facing every day of your life… every minute, many times. We review that infamous Garden of Eden event and rarely see just how much of a parallel it all is to how we perform in our moment-by-moment lives.
Almost everyone knows what it means to be tempted… to face temptation… to encounter some enticement or allurement… typically it is physical, but it is those emotional and spiritual temptations that are so tough to even be aware they are occurring. Things that are tempting are common, but also unique to you… something that appeals to you… something (or someone) that is attractive. These ‘things’ are just bait that are coaxing you… something of a come-on, as it were, It could even be some form of decoy, you are drawn to something, something that you fancy or a fascination… even a hankering. You may even get a formal invitation (the serpent invited Eve to consider God’s intent with His rule). It may be that you are provoke or taunted (fighting, racing cars, or some “arm wrestling” challenge… there is a certain pull… a tantalization… even a trap to either test your faith or secure your weakness!
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)
So… life is not all hopeless. Temptation is actually a key part of life.. it is in many ways necessary… with it, we are able to exercise our own will to choose yes/no on the matter. We are not robots who blindly ‘follow the rules’. Considering a temptation is not sin (wrong doing)… acting on that temptation is where we fall apart. See… James 1:2-3 reminds us; “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Temptations help to make us stronger, more patient, and certainly draw us closer to God… well… resisting temptations does! Experiencing temptations gives us the ‘just in time’ and real-life and practical scenario to help us ‘get the point’. Sure.. we can read about it and even agree wholeheartedly, but until you face-the-music, you won’t really know how you are going to dance through it, as it were.
Talking it through… working through it… researching all the angles…
These all are ways we ‘reason’ over a complicated or challenging thing we are facing. Oddly, the process seems to be the same regardless of the ‘size’ of the temptation! Sure… the larger or greater the temptation, the more attention we tend to give the matter, but generally the reasoning portion is quite similar. Think of reasoning something along the lines of;
- to think through or step through something logically, like when you are facing a problem.
- to form conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts you have collected or a premise that was presented (Eve and the serpent did this).
- a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action.
Logic, Steps, Facts, even pulling together a Pros-n-Cons list are ways that we ‘reason’ through challenges we face. Reasoning and establishing facts to help you make a decision has calamity written all over it! Now… remember… we are talking about your faith-walk in the Lord… not Stock Investments, or Roadtrip Route choices, or even your larger consumer purchases. Faith and Trust ‘are the evidence of things you cannot see’. I wrote about this some time ago with the Evidently writing here on the VocalBillity website. Please get some time to get over there and read that one.
The core point is, once you are reasoning over a rule or guideline God has established, you are simply looking for ways to justify NOT doing that rule… ways to justify doing your own ‘smarter’ way… ways to clear your conscious and help comfort the guilt. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us; “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” As we ‘devise’ our way through life, we are actually working out a reason… working out a justification (why we cannot give, why we cannot pray, why we cannot minister to others, etc). Using ‘that temptation’ from earlier to provide a solid ‘because’ for why we are not following God’s will… why we are choosing this temptation… why we are selecting calamity for our resulting choice.
In the case of the Garden of Eden event… Eve got into a discussion with ‘the serpent’ about this rule of Gods. Notice… please notice… the challenge that the serpent presented was NOT about whether God was lying or just trying to scare Adam and Eve, or being deceptive and underhanded… no… instead… the serpent took the “what is God’s intent” approach. Frankly, it all started to make sense, too… I mean… God ‘did’ know that we would not literally die there and then.
All of a sudden, this reasoning was getting deeper into the matter (the rule) and Eve began to justify eating of that fruit (it even looked pleasing). I’ve noted this before, but please remember that Eve was made ‘after’ God gave Adam this rule… God only spoke this rule to Adam, so Eve didn’t have the benefit of getting this rule first-hand, nor did she get to hear God’s tone… His passion… His firmness. Therefore, Eve had to trust that this rule was actually accurate.
I am such a fan of life being calm… life being predicable… life being mellow, peaceful, and filled with the gleeful squeals of children playing innocently in the yard. OK… that was a bit too overboard, I am sure… but.. that would be a great goal to have in life… to have such a mellow and peaceful series of events, one after the other.
Instead, we seem to be hop-scotching over trials, tribulations, turmoil and utterly complicated do-or-die decisions… and they just seem to devour any and every ounce of joy we could have ever hoped to have had. OK… now, that may be a bit too much the other way now!
I am old enough to have experienced anguish, disappointment, guilt, shame and a myriad of other emotions from choices I have made in my years. I abhor guilt… I abhor disappointing someone… I abhor anguish, sorrow and certainly the ‘scars’ that the “resulting calamity” inflicts on my life… oh that I would have just listened to ‘my inner self’ as I was facing that original temptation. Somehow, that old adage, “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” just doesn’t seem to sooth… to comfort… and especially, it does not really seem to make me stronger.
Surely you have noticed how quickly guilt shows up when you have succumbed to a temptation… when you have given in to the temptation… when you went against your ‘gut feeling’ and took that temptation plunge after-all. That ugly ‘guilt’ and ‘shame’ machine comes chugging around the bend ‘right on schedule’ and with a full head of steam, as it were.
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”2 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
“Suck it up, Buttercup”, I have been told in my past. “Face the music”, “pay the Piper”, and whole slew of other “this is retribution” and “cause-n-affect” stuff going on… but, it still stinks. In that fateful Adam and Eve event in the Garden of Eden, notice several key things that happened to them almost instantly upon partaking of that fruit;
- Acknowledge they are naked
- Are embarrassed
- Are guilty and seek to hide
Now… recall that ‘the serpent’ did not seem to portray the eating of the fruit to have this outcome… to have this result… to have this calamity that they ended up having. These two were immediately aware that they were naked, which embarrassed them. So, they ‘covered’ themselves (hiding from each other). Later, when God comes back to the garden, they hide themselves deep into the bushes.
Question: If God is all knowing, why does He bother asking Adam “Who told thee that thou wast naked?“, or even better… as God was coming into the garden Genesis 3:9 even says, “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”
That is a rhetorical question, but don’t you find it curious why God would ask Adam for an answer to something He already knows? This is quite an important question I am asking now… quite an important opportunity God is always giving us RIGHT in the middle of our “dead to rights” predicament… right in the middle of the resulting calamity about to come full circle.
God is providing you an opportunity to take responsibility… an opportunity to confess… an opportunity to own-up to your sin, your failing, your disobedience. I have wondered many times… how would our world look now had Adam taken responsibility for his part in this breakdown. Sure… the serpent started it, the woman caused it, but Adam fell for it too… and God started the inquisition with Adam… not drilling right over to Eve… nor even ‘going to the source’ by jumping all over ‘the serpent’ for his undermining ways. Honestly… were it not for ‘the serpent’ getting that discussion going with Eve, all would be right with the world!
And there… that… right there… this is why this Garden of Eden event is so important and relevant for our lives today… in this minute. God comes into the garden of our lives to commune and visit with us. He seeks us out… He asks us to confess our sins… He is ready and will to forgive and help us grow through it all.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“1 John 1:9 (KJV)
The “trinity” of The Father, The Wife, and The Holy Smokes is actually you on a daily basis… the three parts of our lives are constantly at war with the ways of God. Paul himself even noted; “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Romans 7:15 KJV) I know… quite a confusing way of saying, “The stuff I want to do, I cannot seem to muster the strength or energy to do them… and the stuff I absolutely HATE doing, I seem to do with glee!”
Give attention to each ‘leg’ of that three-legged stool… explore how God is working in the masculine part of your life… in the feminine part of your life… and certainly in the spiritual part of your life. Work to get them all balanced… not letting one speak for you… not letting one talk one of the other ones into doing something contrary to the ‘rules’ of God in your heart… the laws and guidelines God is using to lead you… keeping a balance between all three so that your life is firm, sturdy, and consistent… growing and standing tall.