8/03/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Vadarama ~
For decades I took the Bible’s creation account as historical fact. I knew the world’s first human was molded by the same hands that knit me together in my mother’s womb.1 God’s own breath infused brand new dust to create a conscious body. Other species were spoken into spontaneous existence before having their naming ceremony casually outsourced, but Adam was fearfully and wonderfully made.2
Driving my faith was a keen sense of my intrinsic worthlessness.God could’ve merely willed me to life like He did everything else. But He personally gifted His spirit, and I immediately betrayed Him with sin. I had not lived in the Garden Of Eden myself, but I was just as accountable for my “fallen”state,8 and I couldn’t escape my estrangement from The Father by natural means. To willingly align myself with my traitorous flesh was to choose death over life. If only I’d offer myself as a living sacrifice9 by inviting the Spirit to replace my instincts with God’s, I’d avoid the horrific fate of the unredeemed.
So we really have been the big stars all along. But the makeup of our species isn’t unique; as writer Jostein Gaarder points out: “A hydrogen atom in a cell at the end of my nose was once part of an elephant's trunk. A carbon atom in my cardiac muscle was once in the tail of a dinosaur.”12 The imagery sets my heart on fire and my mind at ease. Since I literally belong to the earth, I can settle in for good. I can live this life instead of steeling myself for the next. I can trust my gut rather than compulsively censor thoughts that might summon The Enemy. I’m not ashamed of being human, and I don’t feel hopelessly alienated because of my personal relationship with an authoritarian god. The fact that I’m no more objectively significant than the chair that props me up really takes the pressure off.
Still, I am an inconceivable miracle- a bright flame of consciousness temporarily animating a tiny speck of Earth. While the matter will recycle, the light will flicker out- I hope not a moment too soon or too late.
1. Psalm 139:13: For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother's womb. (NIV)
2. Psalm 139:14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.(NIV)
3. popular Christian phrase that I always took for a verse in scripture; may be based in part on Jesus’ prayer for new converts in John :They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.4. 2 Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not fromus.
5. another ubiquitous bit of Christianese that might aswell be scripture.
6. June 17, 1963 letter to Mary Willis Shelburne, printed in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3
7. Columbine victim Cassie Bernall was a martyr in her mom’s book “She Said Yes,” a story later undermined by eyewitness reports. Fact or fiction, it made a huge impact on me. I was intimidated by the daunting standard she set but inspired by her bravery.
8. Romans : for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
9. Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing ofyour mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
10. Read my “Christian Extimony :http://www.vadarama.com/post/93284447479/from-eternity-to-here-my-christian-extimony.11. from the introduction of The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Questfor What Makes Us Human
12. from his 1991 novel Sophie’sWorld