Pastoral Messages | June 20, 2024

A few weeks ago, I was moving around the kitchen getting a few things ready for dinner, when our 3-year-old, Micah, climbed up on his stool that enables him to reach the kitchen counter. As he stepped up, he noticed a bag of Doritos sitting open on the counter.

I quickly told him that we were about to eat dinner, so we wouldn’t be eating any chips right now.

His response: “It’s ok. I’m just going to look at the Doritos.”

I went back to what I was working on, only to turn around a moment later to see Micah moving closer to the bag of chips. Before I could say anything… another quick response:

“It’s ok, Mom! I’m just going to smell them. I won’t eat them.”

I did my best to convey my trust in his words. Another minute or so went by. When I turned back around, Micah’s face was now inches from the bag. He once again had his words ready:

“Mom! I’m not eating them. I’m just going to touch them!”

You can probably imagine what transpired next. As soon as I was at about the farthest spot away from him in the kitchen, Micah took a nibble… then a bite. Then grabbed a few chips as quickly as he could before I stepped over to the counter and put the chips back in the pantry and out of sight.

As one might expect from a 3-year-old… the temptation of those cheesy Doritos was just too much to avoid. And so often, this is exactly what we picture when we think of the word “temptation” for ourselves, too. Something unavoidably alluring. We’re on a diet and tempted by the dessert served at dinner. Or we’re trying to spend less money or stick to a budget, but tempted by the big sale at our favorite store. You get the idea.

In reality, however, temptation is often much more subtle. We listen to the news and hear of the latest mass shooting and think to ourselves, “How awful, but this is just the reality we live in these days.” Or we witness firsthand the continued drastic changes in our climate but assume this is a global problem. There’s nothing I can do to make any difference.

I’m convinced that our greatest temptations in life often stem from the simple idea that our individual actions don’t have great, communal impact. We’re much more likely to be enticed by apathy than we are the ice cream container in the freezer.

I’m not in the habit of rewriting ancient words of faith. But I might offer a simple rephrase of the prayer we speak with such confidence. Instead of the words “Lead us not into temptation…” maybe we should consider: “Keep us from thinking our words or actions don’t matter.” Deliver us, Lord, from the power of indifference.

-Katy Warren, associate pastor

4 Comments on “Tempting”

  • Katie Hanson

    June 20, 2024 at 3:57 pm

    You are so right, Pastor Katy. Indifference is what we need to be wary of. Elie Wiesel, author of Night, said in an interview: The opposite of hate isn’t love, it’s indifference. To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all.

  • Priscilla Hull

    June 20, 2024 at 3:45 pm

    What a great illustration of temptation which made Mark and I chuckle!

  • Connie King

    June 20, 2024 at 3:28 pm

    “Deliver us, Lord, from the power of indifference.” Wow–what an awesome statement and so true. It’s so easy to be indifferent and so hard to care–we need to work on this!

  • Sheila Mesick

    June 20, 2024 at 1:42 pm

    I enjoyed this innocent example of the power of Doritos. Bless little Micah’s heart for setting a scene that helps us reframe “ lead us not into temptation”. I hope you are entering these moments, lessons from the life of little ones. Perhaps there’s a future book in the making.

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