Temptation Rides a Train
Imagine sitting on a weather-beaten, paint-chipped and cracked wooden railway seat. It has been weathered since before your birth. A silver aged locomotive grinds and slides to a raucous halt. You are undecided to hop on, you don't recognise this train.
Surprisingly an attractive and engaging conductor appears at the train's door, she swings forward on the stainless steel grab rail gazing directly at you. She invites you to hop on board, advising the next station is far nicer than this one.
Since infancy you had learned to not step onto the silver trains as you could never be sure which rail-line they would take. You knew only red trains were to be caught. Nevertheless this train looks pleasant. It patiently puffs with no demands while the pretty conductor warmly repeats her invitation. She beckons you forward with her free arm. She does not step from the train, come too close or threaten in any manner.
Your mind starts to weaken as you survey this dilapidated station. The chilly winds remind you of your thinned hair. The platform is pot-holed, and 'dilapidated' would be a compliment to it. Any shelter has been long lost. It is very lonely and cold drips of rain now threaten a cloudburst you are not prepared for. You return your eyes back to this puffing sentinel of comfort, the gentle invitation remains.
You move forward, just a few steps - that's all it takes.
As you hop on the train you re-assure yourself - this looks really good, the seats are soft and surely those old fears must be unreasonable?
The elderly train shakes away from the rotten old station just as the heavens open. The conductor has disappeared but you don't care, because you pat your back with a silent 'good choice'.
The train whistles through various pleasing stations that only confirm your decision. A storm is now raging outside but you don't mind, and also fail to notice the new guard.
The clincks, cluncks and clacks of the train prevent you hearing the guard's approach. You feel a blunt poke between the shoulder blades and reel around. Now standing over you is a deep-eyed, gun-pointing guard. A muzzle gazes at you as threateningly as it is close.
The guard pulls a chord, the driver slams the train to a halt. There is no station. The storm has quickly become fierce.
That muzzle is pressed deeper between your shoulder blades. Without a word you are ordered to stand up, marched down the aisle and propelled out the door with a malevolent energy.
You have landed bruised and scared in a 'new' drenching and miserable wilderness.
Uncaringly the train chugs away, for that is the nature of temptation. Its wicked result is:
the second state is always worse than the first.
The temptation train offers an immediate comfort and hides the later distress. The comfort is as instant and fleeting as the distress is later and sustained.
Two more problems of yielding to temptation are:
- where it leads to is unseen and
- it is impossible to retrace your steps.
each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15)
Sin can be covered but it is never undone.
Leave the temptation behind, not the station. Let it pass you by.
Refusing temptation is living the willingness to pass every sin by, despite its apparent innocence and all other outward circumstances.
Today's Soul Snippet:
Life is a battleground, not a playground.
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