C.S. Lewis cautions us on two fronts when it comes to dealing with evil; one is to not pay it any attention; the other is to pay too much attention. It becomes our job to figure out that fine balance. What a better time to think about that balance than on the First Sunday in Lent, as the church turns purple, and begins preparing itself for Easter.
Over the next 40 days and 40 nights many of us will deny ourselves vices and luxuries and will take up a spiritual discipline, in essence we are embarking on a journey of repentance and reorientation towards God. It's fitting that as we begin this journey together that we allow ourselves to be shaped by the story of Jesus, fresh from the waters of the River Jordan, driven by the Spirit into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. The devil preyed on Jesus' strengths, and tried to sow the seeds of doubt and distrust, as Dr. Dimock unpacked, only Jesus trusted his Father more than any ploy or plot that the tempter could devise.
Dr. Dimock made a point about evil that I think is often over looked- the Tempter preys on our strengths, not just our weaknesses. The devil tries to break our trust in God, and convince us to use our gifts and talents for our own gain, and not to further the Kingdom of God. This happened when the devil tried to convince Jesus to turn the stones into bread it also happens when a friend uses the confidence and influence they hold to manipulate and control their other friends. I think we've all been there, using gifts that we have, that we usually use for good, for something we aren't too proud of- we've all been tempted.
To get back to C.S. Lewis, it is our job to figure out that balance between thinking too much about evil, and not thinking about it enough, so as we start the journey of Lent together, my question to you is this: What are the devils that tempt you in your life; and How, with God as your helper will you fight? I know these are heavy questions, but the fortunate thing is, as we journey to the Cross, we are reminded by the Good News; there this nothing that we can do or leave undone, say or leave unsaid that will separate God's love and forgiveness from us.