Adam’s sin resulted in death and in God’s disciplinary action against mankind by making the earth resist our efforts to cultivate it. While there are a number of ways that we can look at this act of disobedience, one way is to recognize that, like us, Adam was not content with what God gave him. By his disobedience he surrendered the glorious kingdom our souls now yearn and pray for. Not only that, but the earth itself is groaning in anticipation of the restoration that is yet to come:
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now (Rom. 8:19-22).
It’s comforting to realize that the natural world and the souls of all those who are born of the soil and are resting their faith in Jesus Christ will alike be blessed with a final restoration of God’s original purpose for it and for us. One aspect of our moving in the direction of that transforming restoration is to recover the sense of wonder we seem to have lost for the fundamental material element that gives and sustains life—soil. When the marvel of soil works in tandem with the miracle of seed to produce our material sustenance, our bodies continue to have life in which to provide a healthy home for our eternal souls and a temple for God’s Holy Spirit.
We’d be wise to recover the ability of which the poet William Blake spoke so eloquently in his “Auguries Of Innocence”:
To see a world
in a grain of sand
And a heaven
in a wild flower,
in the palm of your hand
in an hour.