The garage forecourt was full of cars for sale and I passed them by without a thought but there in the foyer was the latest, brand new, metallic model of a car I had seen advertised recently. The driver side door was temptingly open as if inviting me to sit in which I did almost without realising. Before I knew it a voice behind me said. ‘Hello Mr. Jones, good to see you – ‘Time for a change?’ said in a way only a good car salesman can! Immediately I began to make calculations in my mind – the aroma of this new sparkling vehicle tempting me into making a decision there and then. Just as suddenly reality kicked in as if a voice said ‘take a step back’ and somehow or other I did just that – but I still looked over shoulder and felt just a twinge of regret!
The winter Olympics in Korea continue to bring us examples of amazing sporting excellence. Athletes who have been training for up to four years are giving of their best to secure honour for themselves and theircountries. There will, of course be success and disappointment – it’s the name of the game. Many if not all of the competitors will have had to break barriers of discomfort and probably pain to realise their dream while not for a moment giving in to the temptation to despair or give up. That’s why, win or lose they will always be the champions of the Olympic movement.
During this season of Lent we are reminded of Jesus being tempted for forty days and nights in the wilderness. In the extreme heat of the day and the biting cold of the night he endured the temptations of the evil one. How easy it to would have been to have given in, to turn the stones into bread and join with the evil one in world domination that would thrive on wickedness anddespair. How even moretempting to avoid the agony and pain of the cross where through Jesus’ sufferings and death we inherit God’s amazing grace covering all our failings and sins.
This Lenten time we are invited to learn his ways and know that as we meet the temptations that arise in our lives we do not face them alone. Such is God’s love that and even when we do fail, as we often is our story, the depth of his love reaches down to embrace us in forgiveness and grace.In the words of a much-loved hymn. ‘Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like me His praise should sing!