“Yeah! Dad!? PLEEEEAAASSSEE,” begged my siblings.
“No…we are not going to McDonalds…it is too expensive.”
“But Dad! We haven’t eaten anything all day and it’s already 2:00 in the afternoon!” I retorted.
“Yeah and we are soooo hungry,” my 4 year old sister added between finger sucks.
“No!” my patriarch stoically avowed.
“But Dad! We can share a drink…really…c’mon Dad!” I implored with the staccato of a jackhammer.
“Yeah Dad! We really want to eat!”
“You should have eaten more for breakfast.”
“But Dad! We left at 6:30 a.m. and have done nothing but shop for lumber, light fixtures and floor tiles all day! Not only is that just flat out boring, but the boredom makes us think of nothing else but our empty stomachs.”
“Mine is even digesting itself!”
“We are only stopping once for food today. I am not willing to spend money to go out more than once in a day. I intend for our only food stop to be the Old Country Buffet at 4:55 p.m. …5 minutes before they switch to the “dinner” pricing…so we can eat the roast beef at the “lunch” price.
“But Dad! We are sooo hungry now!”
The battle continued. I was by far the most vocal in my obsessing effort to convince the foremost authority of the family to feed us. It was scriptural after all…“When a child asks for bread, does his father give him a snake?” In this case…the snake was the equivalent to nothing…at least until supper. My siblings were of minimal help. They agreed with the arguments and desires that I was laying before our father. I trust that they too shared in the craving for a semi-warm and flattened cheeseburger wrapped in yellow paper. Despite the shared longing of my other brothers, they refrained from the same vocal badgering…perhaps too intimidated by the domineering beard of the powerful being behind the steering wheel. My 4 year old sister on the other hand, being absent of the same fear, chorally agreed, singing, “booger, booger, booger!”
“C’mon Dad! We don’t even want roast beef! We want super salty fries, limp with grease,” I reasoned.
“YES!” I thought. “Victory! I have defeated the strong man with constant bantering!”
We arrived at the McDonalds and ordered according to the guidelines laid out for us by our parents. We were to share fries and share a drink and we had to settle for burgers wrapped in red paper instead of the yellow paper because the cost of cheese was too much to add.
We received our food and began to eat while my dad began to write out the check.
“Oh, I am sorry sir…we don’t accept checks.”
“That’s all I have to be able to pay.”
“I am sorry, but we can’t accept checks.”
The next thing I know is that a burger is being ripped out of my mouth by my father and thrust back into the hands of the McDonalds workers…who slid the remainder of our order into a nearby trash can.
We left the restaurant, hungrier than we had entered.
I see a number of parallels to temptations in life through events like this. I see Satan attack in much the same way as I attacked my father. He hits us with the relentless temptations…over and over until often we cave to the pressure; only to find that what we thought would satisfy is ripped from our tongue leaving us more depraved and unsatisfied than we had begun.
Yet, thanks be to God who has set before us the great treasure of eternal life by faith in the grace of Jesus Christ, which is even better than the roast beef of Old Country Buffet.
May we come to see the temptations that the enemy lays out before us for what they are…empty unfulfilling promises. May week seek the Lord in prayer (Matthew 6:13) to lead us away from those temptations and into the plans that He has for us.