While watching one of my nieces and nephews’ baseball games, I chatted with a teenager about what he wanted to be when he graduated. The young man said, “An electrician.” However, the more he talked, the more his description of his desired occupation, which included designing electronics, sounded like an electrical engineer to me.
First, let me say that I didn’t have, nor currently have, any preference or vested interest in this stranger’s future. Furthermore, I respect any honest labor, so I respect both electricians and electrical engineers. Our communities need both.
That being said, after I shared the difference between an electrician (someone who installs and maintains electronics) and an electrical engineer (someone who can install and maintain electronics, but also designs electronic devices), I asked if he really wanted to design electronics. He revealed that he did, but that he probably would be an electrician anyway.
Of course, I asked, “Why?”
To which, the young man said, “It’s easier. I don’t know anything about becoming an electrical engineer. I don’t know where to begin, but my father is an electrician. So, he can teach me how to be an electrician.”
I said, “Well, if you really want to be an electrical engineer, where to start is easy—the library. Actually starting though, actually following through by going to the library, then completing the steps you learn there, that’s the real challenge.”
Now, I realize I dated myself when I told you I directed that young man to the library. Today, I direct people to google it. But the hard part remains execution—completing the steps you learn googling, that’s the real challenge.
The Part Difficulty Plays in Decision Making
Many of us are like that young man. We let the level of difficulty keep us from our blessings. We miss out not because we don’t want to do the work, but because we think the work is too difficult.
And the enemy knows that.
The enemy knows he can’t block your blessing (God’s favor and protection). The enemy can’t keep God from blessing you nor can he block your blessing once God has blessed (empowered) you. The enemy doesn’t have that power.
The enemy can’t keep God from blessing you nor can he block your blessing once God has blessed you.
But he can scare you into thinking you don’t have the power or that your power isn’t strong enough, so that you don’t try because it’s too hard. There lies the challenge—not allowing fear to change your perspective about your blessing.
That’s what we learn from Adam and Eve’s example.
Adam and Eve’s Example
In Genesis 1:28, God blessed, or empowered, Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. That blessing is an invitation God extends to all of us to join Him in creating a life He loves and you enjoy.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them:
"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." ~Genesis 1:28
Adam accepted God’s invitation, which is followed quickly with the details of his assignment including where to begin—in the Garden (2:15). There, Adam got off to a great start tending the Garden (2:15) and naming the animals (2:19-20).
After testing out his powers with these initial tasks, Adam went all in and invested a part of himself close to his heart, a rib, that God used to create Eve (2:21-23). Now, not only was Adam empowered, but he received some equally empowered help in the form of Eve to complete his assignment of “being fruitful and multiplying…”.
Adam and Eve’s Unchanging Power
Just when they should’ve been singing the lyrics from Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, along came the enemy who convinced Eve that her power, her ability wasn’t enough (3:1-6). Eve took the bite—and Adam did too. Both Adam and Eve bit into the notion that they and their power weren’t enough.
But that wasn’t true. It wasn’t true before they were convinced and it wasn’t true after. Their power and ability didn’t change. Only the level of difficulty changed. Though the level of difficulty increased, Adam and Eve still had the ability to fulfill their assignment. They still had the ability to be fruitful and multiply. They still had dominion over the Earth and the fullness thereof.
Everything they had the power to do before, whether they had exercised that power or not, they still had the power to do after.
You know how I know? Because they were fruitful and multiplied after they were convinced their power wasn’t enough (4:1-2, 25). They were also able to do everything else they were blessed to do in Genesis 1:28 after too.
They were even able to do things they had been charged to do, but hadn’t done yet, like procreate (4:1-2, 25). They weren’t parents before the enemy convinced them they weren’t enough. They didn’t become parents until after—because their ability had not changed. Everything they had the power to do before, whether they had exercised that power or not, they still had the power to do after.
Adam and Eve’s Changing Level of Effort
Creating a new life was easy in the beginning before Adam and Eve allowed the serpent to convince them their power wasn’t enough. Think about Adam’s first assignments of tending the Garden and naming the animals. Adam didn’t need any training, warmup, or practice. God just gave him the assignments and he did them.
There wasn’t any conversation either, meaning Adam had no questions, complaints, nothing. Not even when God, without warning, took his rib—while he was sleeping no less. Adam just woke up without his rib and said nothing about the rib. For Adam, it was like “out of sight, out of mind.”
I don’t know about you, but I think some people today would have had some things to say about the proposition of giving up a part of themselves, especially a part close to their hearts. Call me crazy, but I think some people today might have something to say about that. And remembering my response to Reggie’s death, I might resemble one of those people, but not Adam.All of my successes, especially if it required some form of sacrifice or giving a part of myself, have been the result of hard work. Click To Tweet
I can’t underscore enough that that isn’t me. God doesn’t just give me an assignment and I’m a roaring success. Oh, I have known my share of success, but all of my successes, especially if it required some form of sacrifice or giving a part of myself, have been the result of hard work. This includes trial-and-error, meaning I don’t always get it right the first time. Can I get a witness?
Even those things I’m gifted to do are hard work. And those things I love to do… They’re a labor of love. That’s why art is called works of art. Even though the artists are talented, the results of their labor are the results of hard work.
Adam and Eve’s Hard Work
Though easy at first, hard work became Adam and Eve’s experience as well. But Adam and Eve didn’t stop in the face of hard work—and thankfully so. If they had, none of us would be here.
Hard work became Adam and Eve’s experience as well. But Adam and Eve didn’t stop in the face of hard work—and thankfully so. If they had, none of us would be here.
Though once convinced that their power wasn’t enough, Adam and Eve overcame that false belief and embraced the truth—that they could still do it. That’s evidenced by their later attempts to fulfill their assignments.
And attempt is an apt word because success for them no longer came easy—as evidenced by their dysfunctional family life. Adam and Eve had three sons before they were able to fully complete their assignment by successfully passing the charge to be fruitful and multiply to the next generation (4:1-26).
Not having a successful hand off until their third child shows me that they still had the ability to create a new life, one God loves and they enjoyed. It was just harder after their catastrophic event—sinning and being cast out of the Garden.
The same was true for me. It was easier to create a new life before Reggie died. And it was harder after. That increase in difficulty is real, but it’s not everything. It’s not enough to stop you unless you, like the young man in the opening story, let it.
- Does creating a new life or moving forward in your assignment seem too difficult? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Are you missing out on something because the work seems too difficult? If so, what are you missing out on? How would your life be different if you weren’t missing out on it?
- What is your perspective about your power and abilities to create a new life? How do you feel about the prospect?