Destroyed by desire

Published 9:39 am Friday, March 18, 2011

I am honored each month to host the local ministerial meeting at the church I pastor.

When I arrived for our early morning March meeting to get the coffee ready before anyone else got there, the morning sun had not risen. Preparing to unlock the door, I noticed something just to the right of the entryway that looked peculiar. After closer examination, I found that it was the remains of an unfortunate rabbit that had become a meal for a hungry predator.

Without being needlessly graphic, I will only say that whatever feasted on the rabbit cleaned its bones better than a preacher can clean the bones of fried chicken.

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Without the time or willingness to remove the carcass immediately, I knew I would face the wrath of my preacher buddies as they arrived. And just as I suspected, they gave me a hard time about what lay outside the door; one expressed his wondering if we had offered an animal sacrifice at the church, and another advised me that the lucky rabbit foot was still attached. We had a good laugh at the expense of that unfortunate critter, but not a one of them offered to remove the dead rabbit!

I do not know what led to the demise of the rabbit, but I know a little more about a different kind of rodent that I found inside my house last week.

We do not generally have a big problem with mice, but occasionally one will find his way in. As far as I am concerned, even one mouse in the house is a problem, so I always have them a little “treat tray” pushed back out of Madeline’s reach, between the cabinet and refrigerator.

As I prepared my breakfast, I looked at the tray and saw an object inside it. I have poisoned a lot of mice and found their lifeless bodies in various places, but never before had I found a dead mouse down in the poison. But this one was there—down in the tray with the substance that had killed him. Not an appetizing scene before my first meal of the day!

It reminded, though, that there are things in our society that are poisonous to us spiritually. How often do we feast on those things—things that we watch, things that we participate in, things that we entertain in our minds—that are destructive to us spiritually and morally?

The substance on that “treat tray” for mice that invade my home is apparently inviting and attractive to them. Although we try to keep our floors clean, with all the children (and a few messy adults) that we have in and out, there are probably a few harmless crumbs that mice could eat, but there is something about that poisonous bait that lures and entices them to destruction. They choose the harmful over the healthy.

There are plenty of wholesome and Godly choices for us as well, but too often the ungodly and destructive vices of the world are indulged in.

Proverbs 10:23 says, “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom” (NIV).

We need to be careful to follow the example of Moses: “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time” (Hebrews 11:25).

Neither the rabbit nor the mouse can reverse what happened to them, but now is your opportunity to change. Ask Christ to pull you out of the mire of sin and take control of your life. Do not let sinful desire eternally destroy you.