Posted: 18 Feb 2009 01:00 AM CST
Gn 8:6-13, 20-22 / Mk 8:22-26
The tale of Noah and the ark which we read from Genesis contains a curious passage which the ancient writer put into the mouth of God. As the flood subsides, God is depicted as saying to Himself, “Never again shall I doom the earth because of man, since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start….” It’s a welcome pledge, but the reason isn’t very encouraging!
So how bad off are we? In the story of man’s creation, just a few chapters earlier in Genesis, didn’t the sacred writer have God say at the end of that “day” that what He had made, namely man, was good? And don’t we believe that God who is good simply cannot make anything that is evil? Indeed so! God made us good, no doubt, but He didn’t finish us. That’s our job, with His help. And that’s where the problems arise and evil makes its entry.
Think for a moment about the child who would dine permanently on cake, ice cream, and candy if mom weren’t watching. It wouldn’t be good for him, but how does he know that at such a young age? He has to grow into that understanding, and he has to learn self-restraint if he is to act in accord with what he knows to be true. And that’s not so easy, as all sorts of our overweight and alcoholic friends can tell us. Either our heads are fuzzy or our hearts refuse to follow them.
Growing up into wholeness is a lifetime task and it’s hard work.
So don’t get discouraged. You aren’t supposed to be done yet. God understands mistakes, and if you let Him, He’ll help you make them right.