Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
Day Two
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day Two – “Where are you?” – God (Gen. 3: 9)
There are different reasons why we ask questions, if you think about it.  Sometimes we ask a question because we need some information.  “Where is the best place to get a flat tire fixed?” we ask a friend.  We want to know…need the low down.
Sometimes we ask a question that is rhetorical.  A rhetorical question is asked for a reason other than to get an answer.  Most often, the person asking the question is trying to make a point to the person being asked the question.  For instance, if your mom asks, “How many times do I have to tell you to pick up your dirty clothes off the floor?” she does not literally want to know the precise number of times that she needs to repeat that question.  She is trying to emphasize her wishes and her frustration at not being heard the first time. (Free tip: If your mom gets to the point of asking rhetorical questions, you are wise to listen and act…and not make wise cracks…speaking from experience, here.)
Rhetorical questions are great ways to make our point.  Maybe we even answer our own rhetorical question in order to drive the point home.  Shakespeare has Juliet do this in Romeo and Juliet.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Juliet (bless her heart) isn’t asking her questions because she genuinely wants some information.  She’s making a point.  Or rather, Shakespeare is making a point…wanting his readers to ponder this within ourselves.
Is God’s question in Genesis 3: 9 a rhetorical question?  I think so.  Here’s why:  I’m United Methodist, and one of our core belief about God (found in the Articles of Religion in our UM Book of Discipline) is that “there is but one living and true God, everlasting…of infinite power, wisdom and goodness…”  (Article I)
So, God is “of infinite power, wisdom and goodness.”  God, infinite in power and wisdom, does not ask, “Where are you?” because God needs some information.  God asks this question because God wants Adam and Eve to ask themselves, “Where am I?”  In other words, “What am I doing here, hiding in the bushes, in my fig-leaf underwear?  As if I could hide from God, or as if God doesn’t already know I messed up…” 
I believe the writer of the Book of Genesis wants all us readers to ponder this question, since we all share Adam’s and Eve’s fallen nature and are of our “own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.” (Article VII – UM Book of Discipline) We are inclined to mess up, cover up, and then try to hide. 
 
Reflection: “Where are you?”
Action:  Make steps to get where you believe God wants you to be.

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