The Roamer sat and contemplated his failure. His thoughts reviewed the entire game--each play, moment by moment.
This had been my greatest chance, and still, the attempt was futile. What went wrong?
The set-up had been perfect. The Man was alone. This sometimes worked to my advantage! People thought, "No one will see; no one will know."
But not this Man. He knew my enemy would see.
And He was hungry! Usually I can get them in my grasp with the physical offers, and hunger is one of the most basic of all the bodily needs! Such a simple thing, and so necessary to life! I did my best; I was soothing, I was logical: "Just eat, just a little. Use these stones--who will know?"
He answered me with scripture, those hated words!
Fine, I am adaptable. I learn as I go, don't I?
I thought maybe, just maybe, He was wondering about His "abilities," so to speak. So I gave Him a big, very public chance, not only to test those abilities, but also to show off! Who can resist that? And I threw in a little scripture of my own, clever devil that I am--just to assure Him. I've used a variation of this line many times--usually it sounds more like, "This won't hurt a bit. Honestly, it won't..." I very much wanted to see Him dive, too! It would have been a nice show for the Old Roamer!
He responded with scripture again, and accused me of testing Him.
Of course, that's what I do!
Third time's the charm, right? No one has ever accused me of being a quitter, no sir. So I gave it one more go...
I certainly do know how to pick a place with a view, don't I? From that high vantage point, we could see everything--all those lovely crowded cities, all those lying, cheating fools who were already mine, all mine...
And this time I really went for it. I didn't simply suggest that He break a fast and eat. I didn't try to work on His doubts or play to His pride. I asked for what I most desired: His worship. I wanted Him to honor me, rather than my enemy.
His reply this time, in addition to more holy words? Banishment. He dared to say, "Away from me!" And He used my name! I hate to be identified for what I am! I would much prefer that my efforts were thought of as something more neutral, less threatening...like "It's against my better judgment, but..." or "I just don't know what's gotten into me today!"
So. My biggest prospect, ever, easily. Right there, within arm's length, stood the son of the enemy, in human form. I rarely fail with these humans, if I can only find the right words, the right setting. I'm good at what I do, I truly am!
I'll try again, you can bet on that. I'll find an opportune time, and try a different angle. But this time I certainly failed with Him. How did He resist?
Hmmm. I know that directly before our little "desert session," He was particularly full of the Spirit, that ruiner of my plans. This did not help my attack, I'm sure.
Another stumbling point for me was the use of scripture, those awful, despicable truths. I hope none of these other targets of mine realize the power behind those words!
What else? What could I have done better? What was wrong with my proposals? What did I essentially offer Him, when you boil these three temptations down to their most basic element?
Satisfaction. That's what He could have had by giving in.
He could have eaten, and taken care of a desperate bodily need.
He could have gratified that constant human craving for glory, could have stroked His ego: "Look at me! I'm so important, angels catch me!"
He could have had all this world has to give--riches, power, authority. And I presented it to Him in an instant. Everyone grabs for a shortcut like that!
But not Him.
He resisted being satisfied. That's it. It's just as simple as that.
It's good that this whole event will remain quiet, just between the two of us. I'd hate for the rest of them to learn that secret.
October 17, 2004