Life’s too short, sin a little. Haven’t we all heard about this funny little saying? Isn’t that short phrase powerful enough to sometimes knock us off the straight path we were once on? That straight path that the Lord had once showed us when we first trusted Him? Oh the many temptations and how wonderful they all seem. Why is it always at the moment you decide to say yes to the right path and yes to what is right for you, that is when all the many temptations come creeping at your feet?
My personal answer: It is a test of our commitment.
How committed are we really to the choices that we make? How committed are we really to the people we (choose to) love? How committed are we really to our responsibilities? To our path to change for the better? How committed are we really to our passions and dreams? To our spiritual callings? How committed are we to the Lord?
Temptations will sometimes come in the form of something good, very enticing and attractive. We all know this well, but we forget. It is the good things in life that are just so hard to say no to. Temptations are masked up in such a way that you won’t be able recognize them. In the end though, they will reveal their true nature.
I am suddenly reminded of a nightmare I once had. One minute I was in the company of strange but beautiful people in a brightly coloured room, and the next minute different kinds of icky little black bugs were chasing me up this dark alley way. Some were slimy. Some were shiny. Some were leathery. Some had spots, and they all varied in shape, size, speed, level of creepiness, and number of eyes and legs. My surroundings felt so much like a Tim Burton movie too, and I was hoping to see Johnny Depp in that alley way — hoping he would save me… but well… I never got far enough into the dream to find out. All that I realized about that dream was that it was much like how temptation reveals its true face.
Sometimes, temptations will come in the form of comfort for our fears and alternatives for our obstacles (this happens to me on a regular basis and it’s so annoying). I am afraid to move forward, so I would rather stop and pursue a more reassuring path. I am afraid of ridicule and criticism of my work, so I would rather shut my mouth and remain silent. The obstacles I face are too difficult to bear, I would rather avoid them.
However, Max Lucado writes, “Jesus said no to good things so He could say yes to the right thing.”
One moment during lunch this past week I was so overwhelmed by the temptations that were (constantly) presenting themselves to me that I just sort of started staring into space, hoping that God would … oh, I dunno … grant me a pit stop or temptation free admission or something. I imagine God was rolling His eyes at me. Then I looked up and saw a bright yellow and black poster. It was filled with lots of type but only four phrases stood out to me.
So, I smiled, gave God a Yessir! signal, and told myself to just keep going.