Friday, April 21, 2006

Escape Technique

In East Texas, the spring pollen dusted windshields and porches as if they were powdered doughnuts. The good thing about pollen is by the time it arrives, the flu season has passed.

In a crowded shopping mall this winter, my husband and I walked toward a swath of people. One of them sneezed. A humongous explosion. Her hand moved toward her mouth in slow motion and landed there way too late.

Facing the germy droplets, we either had to turn and run or walk through. Our choice probably didn’t make much difference because I’m told that a sneeze exits at 100 mph. We walked through the mist. But, in a whisper, I cautioned my husband and myself. “Don’t breathe. Don’t breathe.”

The air borne bacteria reminded me of the bad things in life that influence people. Young-adult Joseph experienced temptations but resisted.

Sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph served in the household of a powerful Egyptian official, Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife kept seducing Joseph. “Day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.”

Joseph said to Mrs. Potiphar, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:10). She wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, and one day, she dismissed all servants. Like a spider, she weaved a trap.

With only Joseph on the estate, she again made advances. This time, Joseph ran from the house so fast that he left his cloak behind. Offended by his refusal, she convinced her husband that Joseph attacked her, and Joseph became an innocent prisoner.

But God didn’t forget Joseph’s faithfulness, and he eventually placed him second in command to the Pharaoh. Joseph, proven upright, would be instrumental in saving many from starvation.

Joseph’s evasive actions in the face of temptation remind me of the famous line from the movie “Forest Gump”: “Run, Forest, run!”

James advices, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:7).

Like Joseph found out, “Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” Another remarked about succumbing, “If you go to bed with the dogs, you will rise up with fleas.”

The next time temptation leans on your doorbell, remember Joseph’s good example and “run, Forest, run.”

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