Of all the weeks in this series I have had the most trouble with seeing this as a gift: The Gift of Temptation.
Temptation happens. (Yes, that could be a bumper sticker.) We are confronted with moments of temptation multiple times daily. And temptations come in all sizes: the garden-variety "Am I really going to eat that cupcake?" and the big ones. It is hard to see how any temptation is a gift.
The author of the book, "The Gifts of the Dark Wood," which is the basis of our worship series, talks about the temptation to choose the merely good instead of the best choice. Will we "settle" for the easy choice or go with the challenging one that may be best in the long run? That is a regular temptation as well. But is it really a gift?
I confess that I'm still struggling with seeing temptation as a gift -- but some new insights to wrestle with have come from three of our retired clergy (who are often my lifelines when I'm stuck). So thanks to the Reverend Doctors Bill Fillmore, Ed Hiestand and Don Thomas the likelihood of a sermon that addresses this topic is much greater. Any wisdom this week is likely due to them -- if I mess it up its on me.
"The Spirit beckons us not to be good, but to be human -- humble, of the humus -- which ultimately means finding your elemental waters, which are connected to God, and living into your fullest energies. You can (and will) do a lot of good by walking the path that brings you most fully alive in this world, but in order to stay on this path, you must learn to say no to doing a great many "good" things." Eric Elnes, Gifts of the Dark Wood.
Our Lenten Series on Gifts of the Dark Wood continues: April 7: The Gift of Temptation April 14: The Gift of Misfits (Palm-Passion Sunday) April 21: Where We Go From Here (EASTER)