Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)
TITLE: Tuesday's Specials
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On Tuesday, I slept right through the alarm clock...again.
Realizing that I had five minutes to spare before the pre-work shower-and-shave rush had to begin, and knowing that no one else would be up for another hour or two, I stumbled--tired and hungry--into the living room and sat down on the sofa where my morning devotions take place. I turned on the soft lamp, ready for the coffee table and my Bible to appear before my eyes. And they did...yet they were not alone.
On the right of my Bible lay a chocolate cupcake, left by my son from the night before. He had brought it home from his five-year-old soccer practice and was fully prepared to eat it before going to bed. Two worn-out disciplinarians firmly but lovingly told him that he could not have that much sugar right before bed, that it would still be there in the morning, and that--furthermore--he would not be allowed to eat it at all if he continued to cry about it. As he was dragged to bed kicking and screaming, the verdict came down that this week's cupcake would be sent immediately down the garbage disposal...yet it obviously hadn't been.
On the left of my Bible lay a full-color multi-page advertisement for the lingerie store where my wife loves to purchase her pajamas. She knows that I've politely declined previous invitations to come over and take a look at "just a couple of things" that she'd like for Christmas, and she has no idea how hard I have to work to avert my eyes from this store whenever I walk through our town's mall, especially when she's not with me. Yet the scantily clad woman on the front of the advertisement, whom my wife had never met, beckoned me to flip through the rest of the pages, and her smile assured me that no one would ever know...besides the two of us.
And then there was my good ol' Bible, lying there between the cupcake and the advertisement. I knew, better than the average churchgoer, what was inside its pages, and could certainly formulate an instant Sunday School lesson from any of a number of its stories, without even having to open it up. Whenever I did read it, I was inclined to see something new, if I had eyes to see, and certainly the value of regularly reading it could not be understated. Its message was the reason that I had stumbled into the living room, and reading it for five minutes certainly seemed like "the right thing to do," but I knew that Door B was the only option that would still be there when I returned home that evening...and any other time that I desired it.
My five-minute window afforded me only one option, and not any combination of the three. Yet all three had awakened a separate desire in me, each of which was stronger than any tidal wave. I was forced to choose only one of these options, and as a man of action I quickly made my choice....and didn't look back.
Which one did I choose, you ask?
That's not for you to know. May we just say that I chose the one which on Tuesday morning I desired the most, and that my choice, right or wrong, made all the difference in my world...and in my ability or inability to look my wife and son and God in the eye.
In Genesis 4:7 (NIV), the God who desires my life told Cain: "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." And maybe, just maybe, if I believe what He says, I might have to admit that my moments of tantalization are not just an indication of that which I desire...but of that which desires me.
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