Some things you read, are just imprinted on your mind like photographs. And every so often something you experience or something you observe brings them back to your mind’s eye just as vividly as when the first impression was made. Such is this essay I read by Portia Nelson. It reads, “I walk down the street. There’s a hole in the sidewalk and I fall in. I’m lost; it isn’t my fault. It takes me forever to get out. I walk down the street again. There’s a hole in the sidewalk, but I pretend I don’t see it, so I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place; still, it isn’t my fault. I walk down the street again. There’s a hole in the sidewalk I see it, but I still fall in ~ it’s a habit. But now my eyes are open and I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. I walk down the street. There’s a hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it! Finally, I walk down another street!”
Oh, My Friends, I don’t know whether or not you can relate to this, but I think it’s been the story of my life and has caused me so much sorrow, guilt and pain! Let me give you my translation. “I am walking through life. Temptation is in my path and I fall in its trap. I’m devastated, but it really isn’t my fault. Satan tricked me! It takes me forever it seems to get over the guilt and shame. I am walking through life again. I am faced with the same temptation, but I PRETEND I don’t see it, so I fall into the trap again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place; still it isn’t my fault (so I say!). Satan tricked me again! I am walking through life. I am faced again with the same temptation. I see it, but I still fall in ~ now it’s a habit. But this time my eyes are open and I know where I am. It IS my fault! The choice is mine alone. I get out immediately. I am walking through life. I am faced with the SAME temptation. I recognize it as the same trap the enemy has used before. I resist it through the power of the Holy Spirit. FINALLY, I take another path through life!”
Those of you who are acquainted with me are wondering what that temptation is. I say IS, rather than WAS, because I am still faced with it on occasion. Suffice to say, I have a strong tendency to try to find security on my own, rather than depending on the Lord. It can lead to problems. But it is not in my best interest to declare that temptation in this blog.
Those of you who are my close friends probably know what it is, for you have been there beside me the whole time, helping dig me out of the trap and regain my self-esteem. Jesus knows, for He too, was right beside me all the way. But YOU know what that temptation is for you. Is it a trap that you keep falling into repeatedly? It may be what some people would consider a small sin, such as a bad temper or a stinking attitude. It may be something with far more lasting consequences such as alcoholism, drug addiction, chronic lying or sexual impropriety. I don’t have to know, but if after reading this you recognize it, then you are at the last stage of this analogy. It’s time that you recognize it as a recurring trap of Satan, a habit and something that only you can resist through the power of the Holy Spirit. Habits are not easy to break, even with God’s help, for as the Apostle Paul says, the flesh with its desires has a mind of its own. But it is not impossible, for ALL things are possible with God! If there is something in your life that is making you miserable because you keep falling into the same trap, leading to guilt and depression, it’s time for you to repent, turn around and take another path of the Holy Spirit’s leading!
I can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens me!