Monday, February 18, 2008

Temptation

Joanna over at the Geranium Farm wrote today about all the temptations that we face and rephrases the Lord's Prayer to emphasize that God lead us away from temptation - an interesting thought.

One of my favorite bits about temptation is a phrase from "Somebody's Knockin'" by Terri Gibbs -
Somebody's knockin' should I let him in,
Lord it's the devil would you look at him
I've heard about him but I never dreamed,
he'd have blue eyes and blue jeans.
Thanks to Levi's for the picture!
Evil and Satan are undercover agents - literally and figuratively. I always wondered if the reality of what was under those blue jeans was as real as promised. Now, I recognize that temptation comes in all sorts of disguises, and they are seldom evil at first appearance.

eBay is a wonderful example for me. I began looking on eBay for an out-of-date coffee mug for my partner. Then, I realized that others things were available at the touch of an icon. I need only input my credit card number to PayPal and go shopping. Now, we all know that shopping is one of my weaknesses - my retail therapy, my way of stopping the pain. And, the thrill of getting down to the wire in a bidding "war" to the last few seconds - ah, me. The innocuous eBay was my own temptation. After dozens of packages arrived, I realized what I was doing. I have not turned my back on temptation, but I can look it in the eye and said, "NO." Most of the time.

Laughing. So temptation comes in all guises. Food is another of my weaknesses. Today, I was out after therapy. Spent $26 and almost two hours in the bookstore. Then on the way home, I decided I'd like to have a Coke from the Mexican store near the interstate. So, I purred over there and bought two Mexican Cokes - made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup - sooooo good. But, one of my favorite eateries is in the same area; so I sauntered down there - past the soon-to-be-open bakery where I used to buy cupcakes - and bought two cranberry muffins (probably just as many calories as the cupcakes). To make a long story short, I ate one of the muffins after I got home and automatically reached for the other one. God led me away from temptation right then. I put it down, folded the top of the bag and put it out of sight. For right now, I have had a reasonable amount. If I had eaten both muffins now, I would have been stuffed. If I eat it tonight or tomorrow morning, I will have done better.

Temptation. At therapy we talked about a problem I have contacting an old friend, who is dying of cancer. How do I tell her that just talking with her brings back memories that are more painful than I care to handle? I've been through therapy about these and I've forgiven and been forgiven, but the pain is still very real. It doesn't go away just because I understand it. I've left the situation with God and the pain still shows up with the memories. I know how I felt then. My therapist asked if I really needed to say that to her. The knowledge that her very presence in my life brings pain will not make her feel better, and I won't feel any better knowing that I have hurt her; so why say it to her? Let it be. Time will ease the situation and I will know what to do. But, I have been tempted to say, Just go away, Don't make me think of this stuff any more, Quit calling, I have nothing to say. So, if I have nothing to say, then I shouldn't say it. Temptation. Try to ease my own pain at someone else's expense. Giving in to temptation seldom works anyway - you're just miserable afterward.

How does your temptation appear? Blue eyes and blue jeans, speaking when being silent would be better, two muffins? eBay? Credit cards?

Lead me away from temptation - or at least help me to recognize it, Lord.

4 comments:

Sally said...

excellent post- and I have to say that internet shopping is a real temptation, I need to look it in the eye and say NO!!! Welcome to revgals btw :-)

Lindy said...

Mine... too numerous to list but I do enjoy the muffins.

Auntie Knickers said...

Welcome to RevGals, and thanks for the meditation on temptation. The muffins, yes, and online bookshopping -- so unnecessary since I can walk to a bookstore!

zorra said...

The muffins...definitely the muffins.
You're from Clarksdale? I'm from Greenville. Your "then" photo is very evocative.