Invaded by attachment

(RE: Adam and Eve eating the fruit in the Garden)

“Once they gave in to that temptation, their freedom was invaded by attachment.  They experienced the need for more.  God knew that they would not—could notstop with just the one tree.” _Gerald G. May, Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing

*****

May’s quote intrigues me. The line that stands out to me is “their freedom was invaded by attachment.”

I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of attachment as an aggressor—even something bad. But the truth is, the moment something become mine it changes everything and that change must be managed very carefully, for attachment is rife with many dangers and pitfalls.

For example, Sonja.

Out of all the women in the world who are, or potentially are, wives, Sonja is my wife. In one sense my freedom has been invaded. I no longer have any other options when it comes to the “wife-department.”

However, in another sense, my freedom has been greatly enhanced, for now I am free to explore the many nuances of living in a life-long relationship with someone I love.

But even this comes with potential dangers. For the moment I forget that Sonja is not really mine but is a free-will agent who ultimately belongs to God I get into trouble. Our relationship becomes about me—my desires, my pleasure, and my will vs. the Ephesians 5:25 model that sees marriage through the eyes of a steward who will one day give an account for how I cared for one of God’s daughters.

So on one hand attachment (“mine”) can be a good thing, fostering the pride of ownership which is the fabric of a stable society, but on the other hand, attachment can run amuck producing strife, contention, and violence—both on an individual level and on the global stage.

Bottom line, “under God” must always come before “mine.” For as Gerald G. May pointed out, God knows we cannot stop with just one tree.


The ONE THING for today:

Attachments must be handled with extreme care. Keeping a stewardship mentality will be your saving grace.

Here’s an example of attachment. Do you remember your first car? I remember mine. I also remember the time my son wanted a very similar looking old brown, loud, gas-guzzling clunker like the one in this picture I took in Jameston, ND. If you could have seen how the young man in this picture treated “his” car. His attachment to the car blinded him. I’m not sure exactly what he saw in it, but I am sure he didn’t see an old brown clunker and I am equally sure that one day that old brown clunker will not be enough–he will desire yet another “tree.”

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