They say that opportunity only knocks once. But temptation seems to pound on my door forever. Even opening up and letting it in doesn't seem to make it go away. More temptations come along and the beating goes on.
Those temptations that cause me the most problems are those that pull me away from being my best self. So I can relate to the Swiss woman who was served dinner on a domestic American flight. She opened up her dessert - a delicious looking piece of chocolate cake - and immediately sprinkled a generous layer of salt and pepper over it. A shocked flight attendant exclaimed, "Oh! It's not necessary to do that!"
"But it is," the woman replied, smiling. "It keeps me from eating it."
She found a way to drive temptation away from her doorstep, at least for a while.
The most persistent temptations in my life are distractions that keep me from doing what is in my best interest.
I forgo some much-needed exercise because I "just don't feel like it" today. Have you ever felt like that?
You may want to quit that reading group, that difficult class or those music lessons. It's easy to become distracted and get discouraged.
Or maybe we say we just "can't find the time" to spend with those closest to us, such as family. We may want to do these things; it's just that sometimes we need a nudge.
Something baseball great Hank Aaron once said can help out here. "My motto was to keep swinging," he said. "Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was to keep swinging."
Sometimes we just need to keep swinging. And if we tell ourselves that all we need to do today is to take one more swing, that may be enough. We can always take one more swing. And who knows -- today we might hit a home run.