Monday, May 06, 2013

Greeks And Peeks

I tell two stories about Anna in class every year. The first is how she got in trouble for riding in the same bus seat with a young man on our middle school boys' team following an away game. She ran in practice the next day and I asked if the boy was worth it. The young man, now happily married, was not asked his opinion! The following entry, from October 9, 2006, is my other Anna story.

The Greek Festival was celebrated downtown this weekend. Not being of Greek ethnicity, I know because Athena told me. Athena, a jewel of a young lady, is one of my former basketball players. Her father was born in Greece and she is proud of her Greek heritage, leading her to participate in the cultural festivities, the fortieth Greek Festival to be held in Houston. Since I would not be attending, I reminded her to give my best to Anna if she saw her. Anna is another one of my former players, also with a Greek father. I loved coaching Anna. Her face perpetually was lit with a smile and she was a diligent worker. There was one problem. Left handers are hard for me to coach- everything is backwards to a right hander- and Anna was of the left handed persuasion. We got through it and for someone with little basketball experience, Anna had a terrific eighth grade season for us. After junior high, Anna went to a public high school. New students can numerically replace ones that transfer but no one could ever fill Anna's spot at Westbury Christian. We miss her.

All this brings me to yesterday morning. As I was deciding what to wear for worship services, I made the choice to honor Anna with my tie selection. For Christmas several years ago, Anna presented me with a beautiful tie, a Tommy Hilfiger model. The tie is covered with numerous brightly colored stripes but the predominant tint is pink. This is a true guy dilemma. Most of us do not particularly like wearing anything of that shade. On the other hand, women love it when guys dress in pink. When I wear this tie, or the two other pink ones ALSO given to me by girls on my basketball team, I get rave reviews from my female student fashion critics. Compliments trump caution and once again yesterday, my fashion sense was praised. But, there is a sordid side to this story and I must make a confession. Several days after Anna gave me her present, I was Christmas shopping in the mall in St. Louis with my niece, Meagan. I can't remember the store we were in but I spotted a display of Tommy Hilfiger ties. And there, right in the middle of all that neckwear, was the exact tie that Anna had just blessed me with. This is where the confession part comes in: I picked it up and looked at the sticker to see how much it cost. Considering the guilt and shame I feel, Anna spent too much. If you read this, Anna, please don't hate me. It was a moment of weakness and I promise you it will never happen again. Just remember, in eighth grade Bible, we spent considerable time discussing forgiveness. I hope you were paying attention.

Curiosity got to me that day. I would never have planned to peek but there it was...and I gave in. Isn't that how Satan works? It started with Eve and his tactic has lost none of its effectiveness. It's still the same. I'll just take a glance. I'll only stay a minute. I'll know when to stop. I'll be able to walk away. We rationalize our decision and either live with the sin or live with the guilt. When we aren't ready spiritually, we are unarmed. When Jesus squared off with the devil in the wilderness, he thwarted The Tempter three times by quoting scripture, always from Deuteronomy. Satan took his best shot and was repelled by the Savior. My downfall was lack of preparation: I was caught off guard by the stack of Tommy Hilfigers once. I won't be defenseless next time. My shame will be my shield!

Applicable quote of the day:
"I can resist anything except temptation."
Oscar Wilde

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Jon said...

We almost went to that because my dad lived in Greece...