Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mark 14:38 – The Flesh is Weak

Mark 14:38 – The Flesh is Weak
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

If a man knows the art of swimming, he ducks under a great wave until it goes past and then goes on swimming unharmed.

Our monk from the Gaza monastery uses this surfing example in the chapter of his book entitled : On Enduring Temptation Calmly and Thankfully. The title of the chapter indicates a man whose approach to life is very positive. He says if you try to swim through a really big wave, you just get thrown backwards.

He draws the conclusion about temptations: if you are experiencing a temptation about chastity, don’t argue with it, don’t carry on a discussion with it or let your imagination dialogue with it. Just “dive under it” by turning your thoughts to another subject, or short circuiting the bad desire by a prayer of the heart.

Dorotheos loved those words of Jesus in Matthew 11:29.
“Shoulder my yoke and learn from me… and you will find rest for your spirit”
Temptations are a yoke, but if we accept Jesus’ invitation, He will put his neck and shoulders under the wooden yoke and pull with us. Then the yoke of temptation becomes the source of new blessings, of deeper familiarity with the Lord.

Many a person has fallen into serious sin by vainly believing oneself advanced enough in wisdom and strength to be able to handle temptations quite “reasonably”, allowing them to come into the imagination and get a hearing.

Don’t let a wave knock you flat, says Dorotheos. It’s more powerful than you, so use your common sense and dive under it before it engulfs you.

Source: The Wayside Stream – Reconcilliation – by Paul Glynn

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