11 June 2008

Torn between two lovers...

There is a picture that I wanted to attach to this blog that has come into (and out of my life) twice now. It depicts a little boy sitting between two little girls. His attention is focused on the little girl to his left - he's leaning into her, handing her a flower, and you can see (and hear) her giggle as she accepts the flower. To his right, sits another little girl - with a big frown on her face as she watches this exchange. Without words, the photographer has caught the essence of a love triangle in a way that the onlooker immediately knows what is going on. It is an amazing picture...and like I said, it has come into my life twice.

The first time was back in 1991, shortly after my car accident (that's the subject of another blog) when my cousin and I were both involved with the same young man. Yeah, looking back on the situation, not a good move. There is no real defense, but when you are young, you do stupid things. And everyone involved was not very honest - about their feelings, the situation, etc. etc. Anyway, I came across a poster sized print of this picture and gave it as a gift to the young man involved, since it was the perfect expression of what was going on at the time. He told me recently that he still has it (and won't even share it with me by taking a digital image of it!) and plans to hang it in his home office. WHATEVER. The second time I saw the print was recently - in an email - which I cannot find to save my life. And while it has been a while since I have been entangled in a real life triangle when it comes to my love life, I recognize that daily, I am involved in a "love triangle" when it comes to my soul.

Matthew 6:24 tells us, "No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." ...and yet, we - ok, I - try to do that every day. Well, maybe I shouldn't say that I "try" to serve two masters every day, but my actions seem to show that there is a daily struggle between serving God and doing the bidding of the enemy. There are days when serving the Lord is "easy as pie" - and Praise God for those days of victory - BUT, the enemy knows me well and knows where to attack - let Denzel or Shemar walk into my presence, I am sure it would be "on like popcorn". (Sorry, I digress). Sometimes the temptations are blatant - in your face - you know if you do it, you are going against everything you say you believe, desire to do, witness about. Other attacks are subtle and when you fall, you look at yourself and go, "Ok, how did THAT happen (again and again)".

My godsister and I have a saying that we say to each other all the time: "If the only sin that would keep me out of heaven was eating okra...my salvation would be guaranteed." Meaning, I HATE OKRA! Hate it. Ain't trying to eat it - not even fried, although I can tolerate it that way if I HAVE to eat it (and guess what, I'm grown - I never HAVE to eat it! AMEN!) So, suffice it to say, if the enemy came to me with a big ole plate of slimy, disgusting, slide down your throat okra, I could walk - shoot, I'd run away from the temptation. So, he doesn't approach me that way. He comes at me through the lusts of my heart (i.e., Denzel and Shemar), or the desires of my heart (but Lord, I really did need another ten pairs of shoes and I'll return my tithe next week) or through family conflicts and dissensions (by removing my focus from God and focusing on the distractions, he gets me that way too). And just like that - I am "serving" the enemy and not my Lord and Savior.

But there is hope. There is salvation. There is an answer. Donnie McClurkin sings a very simple song that has become the anthem of Christians worldwide: "We fall down, but we get up. For a saint is just a sinner who fell down...and got up." We don't have to wallow in the guilt of succumbing (yet again) to the temptations of the enemy. Get up. Dust off. Pray for (and accept) God's forgiveness (yet another blog subject). Purpose in your heart to do better through the strength God will give and has given you. When the enemy tries to bring to your remembrance all the things you have done in the past that were not pleasing in God's sight - rebuke it, ignore it, and claim the victory in Jesus that you are no longer that person. You might fall again. We all have a sin that trips us up over and over again. Some of us may have more than one. That is ok because we serve a God who has the power to help us overcome it or them.

You have to make a choice. You cannot be happy when you are torn between two diametrically opposite forces. If you are going to serve the Lord, do it with your whole heart, mind, soul. The peace of mind in doing so is amazing - and the rewards are out of this world (literally). If you are going to serve the enemy, do that wholeheartedly as well. If heaven is NOT your goal, then make the most of this life, live it up, because this is the only life you will have. Just something to think about.

Be blessed.
POSTNOTE: June 17, 2008: While visiting my father and stepmother in Houston, TX, I discovered that they had a version of the picture mounted on the wall in my stepmother's office. I took a picture of their picture and added it to this blog entry. God is good to His favorite child!

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