Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

January 28, 2010

Day 27

Weight: 198 lbs

Weight lost: -8 lbs

“Lead me not into temptation…” My friend Mindy – her office is next to mine – just returned from a trip to Israel. The day she flew home she purchased a “gift” for our office, a luxury box of assorted baklava, Heavenly and deadly treats. She sat it conveniently beside the printer we all share. I walk by it 8 or 10 times a day, and yes, I’ve tasted my share. Oh my, it’s truly amazing stuff, and of course loaded with fats and sugar. Yes, I’m taking communion every day, and I’m seeing some subtle shifts in my appetites and eating habits, but I have to admit, when the temptation is there before me, there is no magic or miraculous bullet against allurement.

Jesus had a suggestion about temptation: stay away, and pray it away. Ask God to steer it clear. I can’t expect my resolve to stand when I’m constantly confronted with the offer… “Endulge, freely, and enjoy!” There comes a point when I need to either get myself away from the temptation or get the temptation away from myself. I know myself well enough. If the baklava is there, I’m going to sample it. I talk to myself about it. But my rationale is convoluted: “Just one piece. After all, someone’s going to eat it. Don’t miss the chance. It’s here. When will you get another chance like this?”

So this morning I had another piece. I came into the office and I looked at the box and the above conversation played out in my head. I didn’t put up much of a fight and gave in pretty easily. Then, having “eaten of the tree” I knew I shouldn’t have bowed. So I did the only good thing left: I packed up my back and headed out, out of the way, out of range, out of the office. Right now, I’m “leading myself not into temptation” far enough away from the box of baklava to make it far too inconvenient to take another piece…

Sometimes this is my best strategy. I simply need to get way, or get the danger away. This it seems is wisdom.

“God, you have warned me of the pitfalls that might trip up my life. Some are big and immediately destructive temptations. Some, like baklava are small but cumulatively dangerous. You have taught me to pray, “Lead me not into temptation.” I pray this now, that today you will keep temptation away from me and keep me away from temptation. Steer me clear. I am not strong enough to resist forever. Build walls around my choices. And at times give me enough strength of will to get up and walk, or to simply remove the treacherous object of unhealthy desire. You give me guidance and strength to make right choices but you also give me wisdom to act and remove myself or remove the danger. Today, again, lead me away from those things that would damage my life. In Jesus…”

“The Eucharist Diet” adventure is my six month experiment taking daily communion and tracking and posting the results in my personal life, relationships, health, and body fat percentage.

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