I vowed not to miss church.
Vacationing with my family in Hong Kong, I made it my goal not to miss Sunday church service. I checked with the locals, and they suggested a church that wasn’t too far from the place I was staying.
I strolled onto the main thoroughfare Sunday morning. The mass of locals who were in search of their morning cup of tea swept me along. It was only seven-thirty, but I was already withering from the simmering heat and drenching humidity. The clatter of woks and savory aromas of freshly prepared wonton soup and pan-fried noodles shifted my taste buds into overdrive.
A tea house with the caption “Air Conditioning” grabbed my attention. I slipped inside and plopped down at one of the dining tables to bathe in the coolness. What a mistake. The Dim Sum peddlers in their shimmering aluminum food carts swarmed me—parading steaming shark fin soup, assorted dumplings, and elaborately decorated desserts around me like a well-choreographed musical.
Before long, my taste buds were screaming for a dumpling. I said to myself I would attend church later. Later never came, and God was nowhere to be found. I knew sitting down for Dim Sum wasn’t bad in itself, but I was allowing worldly temptations to distract me from God.
Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, I gave in to what I wanted to do. I took whatever I saw and allowed my body to have whatever it wanted—which was to taste the forbidden dumpling. I wasn’t seeking God first.
This was a sobering reminder of my weakness. If I continued down this road, allowing self-centered wants to govern my actions, God would soon become nothing more than a faint memory. The only way back was to make God first and trust He would provide everything that was good for me.
As I moved from me-first to God-first, I discovered an abundance of God’s grace that supplied the power to resist the temptations crossing my path. I was no longer an easy prey to the “tea houses” of my life that beckoned me to abandon God for whatever I unwisely wanted.
Don’t let the forbidden delectables keep you from putting God first.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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