The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. Romans 7:10-11 (MSG)
There was a drawer in the kitchen when I was a kid. It was a big drawer. The bottom drawer of the pennensuila to the left of the stove. It was the drawer. In that drawer were potato chips, Oreo cookies, Little Debbie snack cakes, and the occasional gold mine of cream-filled Hostess treats. To a young kid, it was junk food Nirvana.
When I got home from school, it was snack time. A Coke and a snack. One snack. Only one snack. That was the law. Thus speaketh almighty mom. “You don’t want to ruin supper,” she said.
So, I would wolf down my coke and cookies before heading downstairs to turn on after-school television: The Brady Bunch followed by Hogan’s Heroes. It always happened somewhere half-way through the Brady Bunch, right when Peter or Jan found themselves in the midst of a polyester, bell-bottomed predicament.
I really wanted another snack.
But mom said, “It would ruin my supper.”
“So what,” I said to myself. “It’s chicken and noodles. I hate chicken and noodles.”
Listen for the footsteps upstairs. Mom’s in the living room. Quietly make your way up stairs. Watch that third step; It creaks. Tip-toe down the hallway. Peek around the corner. Where’s mom sitting? Good! She’s on the couch facing the other way. Just a few more quiet steps to the drawer of forbidden fruit pies! You gotta love that dad made these drawers so quiet. Grab the stash, then quietly dash back downstairs.
I don’t know how many times I successfully made a sneaky snack run. Sure, I got caught a few times, just like the Brady kids. But I was successful more often than not, which prompted me to do it again and again.
I thought about the snack drawer when I read today’s chapter. It perfectly illustrates for me the sin nature that Romans explains. That sinful nature in me takes the command that was meant for my good, and turns it into a lustful desire to disobediently appease my out-of-control appetites.
Unfortunately, the older you get, the commands are more important and the disobedience yields more disastrous consequences.