Sunday, January 03, 2016

This week's lesson (January 2-8): crisis in Eden

It didn't need to be an apple.

It could have been a brown M&M.

Van Halen was infamous, remember, for its contract stipulation that "there will be no brown M&Ms in the backstage area" -- a demand that seems incredibly petty . . . 

Kind of like God's demand that Adam and Eve not eat from the "Tree of Know-it-all."

But as David Lee Roth explains:
Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We'd pull up with nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors, whether it was the girders couldn't support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren't big enough to move the gear through. The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. 
So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say, "Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes . . . " This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: "There will be no brown M&Ms in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation." 
So I would walk backstage, if I saw brown M&Ms in that bowl . . . well, line check the entire production. Guaranteed you're going to arrive at a technical error. They didn't read the contract. Guaranteed you'd run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.
In much the same way, God gave humanity a god-like authority -- one that enabled us to rule this earth and give it meaning. 

And no, it's not easy to exercise that kind of authority without taking yourself a little too seriously -- without thinking your powers are not just "god-like," but downright "godly."

Which may be why God included a little test -- one remarkably similar Van Halen's. "Do not eat from the Tree of Know-it-all," He said, "upon pain of forfeiture of the show."

A small thing, to be sure.

But if they got it wrong, it was a sign of a much bigger problem -- something that "would threaten to just destroy the whole show."

So . . . no, it didn't need to be an apple.

It doesn't even need to be a brown M&M.

But if God needs to know that you're paying attention . . . 

Then what would it be for you?

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