It happened just after the praise team finished singing. Our pastor came into the pulpit with a plate of caramel covered apples and I told a friend sitting beside me, “I am all over those!”
So it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that my hand was among the first to be raised when the pastor asked for volunteers. Chuckles arose from the congregation as I practically ran to the front of the church after being selected for whatever sweet task lay before me.
I was told it was an eating contest, to see who could finish the snack faster—the male or female contestant. A crisp $5 bill was laid on the table as incentive. As the countdown began, I got my first close-up view of the caramel on my apple and noticed it wasn’t quite the same color as the other contestant’s. Wait, I thought, what does this have to do with today’s sermon?
Three… two… one, go! I hesitated only long enough to see my competitor biting into what appeared to be a delicious granny smith, caramel-covered apple. One bite was all it took for me to realize mine was a caramel covered… but not-so-delicious… Vidalia onion?!
Turns out, the sermon topic was temptation, and apparently I was the perfect example of someone clearly tempted by the preverbal wolf in sheep’s clothing. Before returning to my seat, the pastor handed me that $5, and a box of Tic-Tac’s. The onion on my breath was enough to remind me (and everyone within 10-feet) how sugar-coated and sweet-looking those daily temptations can be.
Lord, thank you for always providing a way out—help me to see it when I need it!