I have had this post on my mind for days, many days actually, but haven't quite put together how to write it. Then today, as we were taking the movies back to the Redbox, my girls were watching Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief on the DVD player in the van and it all came to me. Often they wear the headphones, but every once in a while we just let the move play over the van speakers. (It helps when it is a movie that I really like too, this was one of them!) Anyway, the scene that came on, as we were driving, was the one where they enter the Lotus Den in Las Vegas. I'm hoping you have seen it, because I'm going to spell it out here. In other words, this is a spoiler alert!
Percy and his companions enter The Lotus, a casino, and at first they keep their eyes on the prize, in this case the pearl they need to get back from the underworld. However, they are constantly bombarded by the "workers" to try this and that. On top of that they are in awe of their surroundings, all the desires of their hearts seem to be in this one location. While they resisted for a good few moments (in movie time) they succumbed to tasting the Lotus Flower. They were enticed by the lure of it being the "signature dish" and the fact that it was free. So Percy and his friends, going against their better judgement, take a bite. Each one of them exclaimed about how good it tasted and as they continued eating they were drawn into the world inside the "den". They each were able to do the things their hearts desired. All of it was there, for them, for the taking. All of their senses were on hyper-drive, they were living "the life" and having fun. Then Percy hears the voice of his father telling him not to eat anymore of the flowers and to wake up, to start focusing. As Percy walks around he bumps into a person who is playing a game and that person thinks it is still 1971. At this time Percy really starts to connect the dots and goes to free his friends from the trap of the Lotus Flowers. Of course, this alerts the "workers" who want nothing more than to keep them tied to their desires, and so they continue to persuade them to eat more. It ends with them leaving and realizing they were in the "Lotus Den", but it was the fact they lost 5 whole days of the time sensitive quest they were on that really took them aback.
And that dear readers is what sin does. Sin is like a lotus flower. It looks good, smells good, tastes good, feels good, and its fun - AT FIRST. Then it starts to eat at you. It takes away your ability to think, to focus, to keep what's right in perspective. You will lose entire chunks of your life. It will cause you to lose not only time, but precious people and valuable memories with those you love. Sin will destroy you from the inside, because the longer it has you in its clutches the more of IT you will need to keep those same feelings alive. Just like Percy and his friends - they had to keep eating the flowers because the workers knew that when they stopped eating they would wake up and reality would set in. And the thing is, as you are eating more and more to feel the same, you are turning it into a job. A job that takes more and more of you to complete. Hours will turn into days and days into weeks, then weeks into months, and for some those months tragically become years. Time, all of it time you will never regain. Time that you will have lost with those you loved, who longed to give you theirs, because the sin was of a far greater appeal to you than they were.
Sin is not your friend. It deceives, it tricks, it leads you down paths you never thought you'd travel down. It will bombard you with bright lights, great music, "friends", earthly goods, food, and drink. But what it will do during that time is consume you and destroy your soul. It will take away from you that one precious thing that truly defines who you are. It will transform you into a person you aren't, all the while making you think it's who you were always meant to be. Sin is not your friend, but it takes many people. It destroys people, lives, livelihoods, and families. It DESTROYS people. That is its only goal.
But there is one that can beat it, there is one and only ONE who overcame it for all of humanity, if only we'd reach and grasp the free gift He is offering. Jesus. He came that we may not live for eternity over the choices we made while living in the Lotus Den. He came to die for us, that we may live for Him, through Him. Sadly, there are many, far too many, that don't want that gift because it seems hard, it seems dull, it doesn't "please" in the same way the Lotus flower does, but I can assure, having walked into the den myself, that life walking with the Lord is a far greater joy and blessing than any flower could ever provide.
Eat well my friends.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8