Last night Keith and I took our family to a really nice dinner in celebration of our youngest son’s birthday. We chose a rather expensive place, Jeff Ruby’s, because in December we had received an equally nice gift card that would offset the cost.
We were dressed up (a.k.a. out-of-quarantine attire) and looking forward to a special treat. When we arrived, our oldest son and his fiance were already seated and being served their drinks. We ordered a few appetizers, then Keith handed the server our gift card. (This restaurant was really quite the splurge. We don’t typically go all out this big for birthdays, but it was cool because we had the hefty gift card.)
There was one little problem. The server very graciously perused the card, then handing it to Keith smiled and said, “Sir, this gift card is for Jimmy Kelly’s restaurant here in Nashville. I used to work there and you really had me going for a minute.”
We were stunned at first, then all had a good laugh—until the bill came! Thankfully we could AFFORD it, but we wouldn’t typically have paid that price for a family meal. But how in the world did we mix up the two establishments?
Initially, I assumed the blame. After all, I was the one who said, “We should go to Jeff Ruby’s because we have that nice gift card!”
Then I thought it over a little. I had given the card to Keith on Thursday when I made the reservation so he’d have it in his wallet. He’d had as much opportunity to look it over as I had. Plus, much has transpired since we received it last December. 2020 has unfolded in ridiculously crazy ways. The fact of the matter was we both got it wrong.
Which led me to think about Eve and Adam and the whole blame game (follow me here). It’s easy to assume a lot about that story, but the truth is the blame shouldn’t lie with Eve or Adam. The serpent said, “Here’s your chance to be just like God.” Eve didn’t give it any serious thought and jumped right in and sampled the fruit. Adam assumed everything was cool, so he followed suit. Lots of negligent parties in this tragedy. But it can all be traced back to our enemy.
Here’s what I know:
1. His temptations most often come when we’re minding our own business, not out looking for trouble. And he’ll let just enough time pass to bait us when distracted.
2. He doesn’t force us to “bite” when he lies. He just leads us to it. But he’s pretty sure the distractions will make us suckers.
3. We shouldn’t judge one another for making stupid choices. It happens to all of us sometime… heck, many times in our lives.
Probably a roundabout way to go from discussing the mistaken identity of a gift card to the first sin, but maybe you can follow my trail. It all seemed innocent enough until the bill came. As I’ve heard countless times throughout the years, “Sin takes us farther than we want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay, and costs us more than we want to pay.”
How often I’ve wondered at the horror that flooded Eve when “her eyes were opened” and she realized what she’d done. It could not be taken back. It was too late. Yes, our God restores and redeems, but what if we checked ourselves before it reached the need for that? I pray that as I mature there are fewer and fewer “uh-ohs” with Satan and more and more “uh, NO’s.”
That’s what’s on my mind today.
Be Kind. Love Well.