The Lord taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” ~ Matthew 6:13. It’s the oddest of requests really. Why in the world would God ever lead us INTO temptation? Do we really need to request that God not?
Yet, I have been feeling a bit tempted lately. For me this generally begins with a thought. When the thought occurs, I know it is temptation. It is not nice or not helpful to think it, but it doesn’t seem all that bad, really. As long as I don’t act on the thought.
Well, temptation is a slippery slope, and like most slopes, if you stop yourself before it gets too steep, you have a better chance of not falling. So, I had this other thought. What if, whenever I felt tempted, I just spoke the words to myself: “Lord, lead me not into temptation…”?
Worth a try, right? Well, the instant I adopted the practice, I was astounded at the frequency with which I put this to use. It’s a bit embarrassing. In just a few hours, I was tempted:
- to complain about the kids blocking the aisle
- to chastise the smokers in the parking lot
- to judge the outfit
- to find fault with the other patron
- to lose my patience
- to take advantage
- to blame
- to run ahead of God
- to seek validation and admiration
- to gossip
- to compare
- to rush to be done and submit less than my best
- to be selfish
- to dismiss another by talking over them
- to dodge my responsibility
- to neglect
- to steal by plagiarizing
- to worry
Wow! Think of the evil I was delivered from! Ha. And I thought I was doing pretty well. (see validation/admiration above) Guess this is gonna be a greatest hit on my prayer list.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
We endanger ourselves
when we choose only what suits us
and toss what doesn’t serve us.
help me be one who
welcomes the other way;
one who engages
the different approach.
Cause me to open my door
to accountability come /knocking/
just as I would to \confirmation\
It is by both of these
that you show me my way
I am in mourning
for the world I thought I knew,
had such hopes for,
dreamed such dreams for…
My world, my oyster,
Not mine any longer.
By hate, by hurt, by harm.
Love doesn’t insist on its own way.
Waits patiently for an invitation.
An opening in the doorway
A crack, a crevice, a peep hole.
See this? all this is nothing.
What lasts are These.
Just as you loved them,
I love you.
Lord, turn my mourning into morning.
Bring the dawning of your new day.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4