Monday, February 27, 2012

The Devil You Know Beats the Devil You Don't

I was under attack yesterday...and without a sword or a shield. 

The day started well enough. But as I became engrossed in things focusing on myself, my mood became darker, my patience thinner, my outlook bleaker. Though I'm sure that I've been guilty through the years of most of the 7 deadlies at one time or another, my most grievous has been that of "pride...the sin from which all others arise." Yesterday, on the phone with technical web support services, my pride reared his hideous head and attacked the operator, engaging me in self-righteousness and taking charge for the rest of my day.  Boy, is he a meanie!

By the 2nd reading at the 12:30 church service, I was fully aware   that I was not in control. I actually looked ahead in the missal to the Gospel reading and (I can't believe I'm admitting this publicly) thought to myself, "Oh, hallelujah, it's a short one! I just can't absorb any of this right now." Yikes!!  After that thought, I felt the temptation of the ugly one. Was I imagining this dark turn? I wondered if I was over-exaggerating in my assumptions as I sometimes do. Then the Gospel reading from Mark 1 began: 

"The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and He remained in the desert for 40 days, tempted by Satan."

Now, believe me, I'm not at all likening myself to Jesus, except to note that Jesus, in His humanity, was faced with every temptation we are. The attack is real, a true threat, and we are all in it's path. I wish could handle it as well as He who walked before me, and with the grace He consistently showed. 

I also wish I could say that after that message, my day radically changed as did my attitude. But sadly, I was too far gone in the throws of anger and discontent.  I gave up for the first time in a long time.  Luckily for me, today was a new day. 

My devotional appropriately read: "Keep your eyes on Me!  Waves of adversity are washing over you, and you feel tempted to give up...I am fully aware of your situation, and I will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear."

Oh, thank you, Jesus, for understanding my need for reassurance. Just as you worked hard for me these two days, coaxing me back to You, so will I work hard to remain with You in smooth times - and in temptation. 

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