There is a small orchard in the middle of our little housing complex. It hasn’t been looked after in years, other than a cursory mowing every now and then, but the apple, cherry, pear and plum trees continue to bear fruit year after year.
I love walking through this orchard, and in season, plucking a handful of cherries, or a small ripe plum or a juicy pear. This morning, as dog and I ambled through, there was a loud “thump” on the grass and a huge apple landed at my feet. Another inch and either I or the dog would have been beaned by it.
I picked it up. It wasn’t a grocery store apple – this one had never seen pesticides or fertilizers, so it was lumpy, scarred and misshapen. I sniffed it. Heaven. A rich apple aroma from a fruit that hadn’t been in cold storage awaiting shipment to the other side of the continent. I couldn’t resist taking a huge bite. Heaven!
And I thought about Eve. I wondered if she’d also picked up the forbidden fruit, taken a sniff and immediately forgot all the admonitions to stay away from the apple tree. Just one bite, she probably thought. No one will know.
So often in our lives, temptations drop at our feet, and we’re faced with the dilemma: why not? Who will ever know? Just a little lie; a small cheat, a harmless bit of gossip – surely such a little thing couldn’t have any world-changing consequences.
Perhaps that’s why the Lord’s Prayer contains the line “and lead us not into temptation…”.
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