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I ❤ coffee. 

I am Shauna Shanks. I love green smoothies. I'm an author, mom & wife chasing smallness.

Sin is a Big, Terrible Deal

Sin is a Big, Terrible Deal

We recently purchased a piece of farmland. Some of it has been corn fields for decades while some is woods and creeks. 

There is a small piece hidden away by trees we gave a quaint little name, "the nook." It is a clearing surrounded by a circle of trees. Because it has only ever been woods (as far as we know) it is over-run by brush, thistles, and thorns.

From the moment I laid eyes on it, I was IN LOVE with this nook. Two tall trees spaced perfectly apart just enough to beg me to drape a hammock across them. The creek is just waiting for a rain to fall so it's trickling water can serve to be the perfect soundtrack to many a peaceful morning and eve sipping coffee and reading a book. Oh yes, I can see my future get-a-way as I gaze out over the untouched land.

Problem is, it's current state seems less of a tranquil morning and more of a death trap. As we have gotten in there and began pulling out thorn bushes, dead trees, stubborn vines, we see the clearing is actually bigger than we initially thought. We can clear it all the way to the creek bed which will make for a wonderfully large yard area. Once we get it cleared.

Now I type with sore fingertips that are red from me digging the splinters out of them. They're not even splinters, really. As I pulled out thorn bushes (with gloves that were obviously more decorative than functional), the tips of the thorns broke off into my skin and embedded there. I am also covered in some pretty wicked posion ivy and a giant spider bite on my left thigh. (shudder)

I emerged from yesterday's haul with a pretty impressive amount of belly sweat and this pic doesn't do justice to how stanky I was after working for only an hour in August heat.

As I work and machete my way through the thistles, and pull up roots and vines I can't help but think what in the world honked God off so badly that He would literally curse the ground He made for us?

"To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you....Then to Adam he said.....Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, til you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Genesis 3:16-19

Yikes. I have three kids. I also work at a preschool. We are not this harsh. I tend to be the sucker. "Ok little so and so, you only get one more chance... I'm gonna count to three now....Maybe you didn't understand the rules, let me explain them again, etc. etc.

I mean, Adam and Eve didn't even get a time out first. Just, straight up banishment!

Genesis 2 describes the paradise God had created for his children. A fragrant garden surrounded on all sides by crystal clear rivers. Gold, beautiful rare stones and gems littered this lush land. A mist from the ground kept fruit fresh on the trees that were not only good for food, but they were pleasing to the sight. Just imagine the beauty God must have created when He made life for the first time: movement, smells, colors, atmosphere, sounds. It was indeed beauty and perfection.

How in the world could Eve have misbehaved so badly that she could get herself expelled from the home that was created for her? We all know. She ate fruit.

Fruit, you guys. Today I write this to you from swollen nubby fingertips, seeping posion covered arms, thousands of years later still dealing with the curse because of Eve's sin.

A few weeks ago, we had a visitor in our house. She was studying her Bible and asking tough questions like, "Are some sins worse than others, or are they all the same? Are some life altering and other just pesky, permissable ones?" Sometimes we categorize our failures by the "really big sins", the "mediocre" ones, and just little "normal" ones. I've heard all kinds of terms and categories for sins growing up in the church. Is this a lifestyle sin? Is that sin unrepentant? Is it repetitive? 

Eve ate fruit, ya'll. And it got her banished from her own paradise. You also have her to thank ladies, for once a month discomfort, and every childbirth, just as a friendly reminder.

Yesterday as I was working in the nook, my middle son Gabe was with me. The other two had already had their fill of working at the "choperty" for one day. ("Choperty": My three year old, Judah's cute little way he says 'property'-  I wonder if he is just pronouncing it wrong or if he thinks it's actually choperty because I'm always chopping and hacking away brush with the machete?)

Gabe and I were having a great time. He kept high-fiving me and telling me we made a great team. He had some dull hege trimmers and thought he was operating a serious piece of farm equipment. He was big stuff. We were clearing stuff out and enjoying each other's company....Until he got into his head using the machete would be more fun.

I told him, "No. This is mommy's tool. You need to use your own tool." But the idea grew more and more inticing in his little mind until he decided to disobey and try and pick up the machete anyway. As he put his trimmers down, he pinched his finger in the handle and a tiny little blood bubble formed under this skin.

Upon seeing his "wound" he began crying hysterically. He might die if he doesn't get a bandaid immediately! "Where's daddy? I need to go home! Waaaa-ahhhh! I hate the property!" and so forth.

I gathered up the supplies and was frustrated that I would have to pack up early. I was making pretty good time and still had an hour of daylight left. But Gabe was in hysterics since he could see pink under the skin. I felt like God whisper to me, "That is why sin is so terrible."

Do I love Gabe any less because he hurt himself? Of course not! Do I not want to pick him up and comfort him? Sure & I will! But he was disobedient and it resulted in self-focus and the work we were doing together had to stop.

I am currently studying in Exodus and  I'm reading a lot of text about taking over land, crossing into Cannan, establishing a great nation,  and many accounts of God protecting and establishing his people. In the new testament and in our day, there is a shift. It happened after Jesus came. It's no longer about our blessing so much, or "moving into a promised land" per-se. We have work to do. Paul, Peter, John, all the all-stars of the new testament had one mission. Following Jesus' lead and furthing God's kingdom.

Sin haults that. That's why sin, any sin, is a big deal. A big, terrible deal. 

 

I want to document more of our property progress and talk more about Jesus in future posts! Thank you for reading! Feel free to share any thoughts below: 

 

Chasing Smallness

Chasing Smallness