Once upon a time, in 1940, two baby boys were entrusted to the arms of uncertainty and placed for adoption. Unbeknownst to all, their adoptive parents bestowed the name James upon both of them. These boys, destined to be known as Jim, were adopted by two different families – Jim Lewis by the Lewises of Lima and Jim Springer by the Springers of Piqua, Ohio. A remarkable connection began to unfold as they grew, lives mirroring one another in the most uncanny ways.
Both Jims cherished childhood dogs named Toy, and their passions for math and woodworking led them on parallel paths during their school days. Struggling with spelling was a shared hurdle they overcame together. Little did anyone suspect that their lives would continue to intertwine in ways beyond imagination.
As time marched on, both Jims embarked on separate marriages, each time finding themselves with women named Linda and then Betty. They became fathers, and in a twist of fate, both bestowed upon their sons the name James Alan (or James Allan).
Their professions, too, seemed to mirror each other's steps. Jim Lewis became a dedicated security guard, while Jim Springer served as a vigilant deputy sheriff. The cars they drove were identical Chevrolets, and the call of the ocean led them to vacation at the very same Florida beach.
For nearly four decades, their destinies unfolded like a symphony of synchronicity, until the day an inexplicable yearning stirred within Jim Lewis's heart. Driven by an unexplainable longing, he sought to find his long-lost twin. Through perseverance, he discovered contact details through an Ohio courthouse, leading the brothers to the momentous reunion they had yearned for.
On a day etched forever in their hearts, February 9, 1979, the Jim Twins stood face to face, their lives now intertwined once more.
In the scientific realm, Dr. Robert Plomin, a prominent behavioral geneticist, has conducted groundbreaking research on the role of genetics in shaping human behavior and traits. His work has shed light on how our genetic makeup influences various aspects of our lives, from personality traits to career choices.
Plomin has demonstrated by studying numerous twins separated at birth the incredible power of DNA passed to us by our ancestors on the development of personality. Genetics is the single greatest influence on our personality, even greater than the environment we grow up in. Stories like the experience of the Jim Twins also lead scientists to believe that genetics also influences the choices we make and the environment we live in.
But as we gaze upon this extraordinary tale of the Jims and the remarkable science that explains how two people raised apart could be so much alike, let’s not forget the timeless wisdom found in the sacred scriptures. The Bible speaks of the influence of the flesh on our behavior, tugging us towards self-centered desires and away from God's divine plan for our lives. The tale of the Jim Twins and science impress upon us the overwhelming influence the flesh can have on every aspect of our lives. The Bible reveals to us of our inherent need for a transformation that transcends the physical realm.
Just as Plomin's groundbreaking work highlights the role of our genetic predispositions, the Bible calls us to recognize the reality of our fallen nature, prone to weaknesses and sin. Yet, it does not leave us stuck in sin and stranded in the complexities of our humanity. Instead, it unveils a profound promise of redemption and renewal through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul's words echo through the ages, inviting us to shed the shackles of the flesh and embrace the abundant life offered by the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-17 reminds us, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh."
This is an invitation to daily spiritual exercise--inviting the Holy Spirit to be our walking partner in the light of God’s inspired Word and in prayerful communion with our Father in Heaven.