This is the 13th of a series of 15 devotionals from the late 80s when my oldest sons were just little boys …
As most of you know, our family recently went on a brief vacation trip to Boston. We hit all the major landmarks of the city and area – Bunker Hill, the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house, the Freedom Trail, Plymouth Rock, etc.
As we were returning to New Jersey, we asked the boys what three things they liked most about our vacation. Benjamin and Aaron – being too young to anticipate what we probably wanted to hear – spoke out honestly. “We liked eating in the restaurants, riding on the subway trains, and staying in the motel,” they said.
But Nathan, the consummate politician sweetly responded, “I really liked the historical sites the most.”
HA!! Sure you did!
I know for sure what Nathan liked least on our vacation. It was something he ate at a Chili’s Restaurant. Chili’s was one of our favorite Texas eateries during the Dallas Seminary years. We haven’t been to one in years, so when we saw a Chili’s on Cape Cod, the car just pulled us off the road and into the lot.
You need to understand that Nathan is typical of many people born in Texas – a bit arrogant about their roots! Nathan constantly reminds us of the “nationality” of his birth and how he is going to live in the Lone Star State someday. The kid sees himself as a true son of Texas. It drive me a bit nuts! He even likes the Rangers baseball team!
Diana and I ordered cheese nachos, which are traditionally served with a slice of jalapeno (super-hot) pepper in the middle. Diana was removing the peppers and laying them aside. So I said to Nathan, “You know Nathan, real Texans eat those peppers for snacks.” And he said, “Well I’m a real Texan so let me try one.” He did, and it wasn’t too bad. He even claimed it tasted good. So he took several more, threw them into his mouth and took a big bite.
Suddenly his eyes began to water, he started moaning loudly and quickly drank a glass of water. Then he reached across the table and grabbed Benjamin’s water, then Aaron’s, and then ours. As he cried, the waitress brought him more and more water. I felt badly for him but had to laugh at the same time – it was a sight! After a while the fire was extinguished, but he sure suffered in the process.
Sometimes Christian people are tempted to be something other than what they really are. We feel high-pressured by the world around us to take a taste of an item we are told is “hot.” Not heeding the warning, we try it. Often, the first taste is quite nice. But the further we go, the more the heat builds, and soon we have been burned by our foolishness. In time, and with the Lord’s forgiving assistance, the effects of the fire can be remedied. But oh the pain during the process.
Let us be a people that learn and run from those “hot” temptations of the world system. In a sense, it does us well to be “cool” in Christ.