Do not go gentle into that good night
…rage, rage against the dying of the light
In 1955 Nikos Kazantzakis published his novel, The Last Temptation Of Christ. I read the book and saw the Scorsese movie. The story is about Jesus being tempted to avoid the cross to live out his natural life with Mary Magdalene as his wife.
The Da Vinci Code books and movies are loosely based on what would happen if Christ gave in to that last temptation. Good news, he didn’t. Bad news, many of us do, and most of the time we are unaware of the temptation.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,
and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Famous quote misattributed to Thoreau from Walden
As a minister I participated in many funeral and graveside services. A number of the people who passed were acquaintances and most of them were believers. Now as I look back on the end of life one question sticks in my soul, did they die with their songs still in them?
How many found their place of purpose in this world? How many could say they finished this life just in time to transition into eternal life? How many didn’t because they yielded to the last temptation? Only they know.
Temptation: Embracing the inevitable + accepting what’s available
The Last Temptation Of My Life:
My last temptation was and still is; sit back, grab the remote and put-off what God has asked me to share with my world. By almost every standard applicable I’ve done well in life. A great marriage, a wonderful family, a long history of loving, giving and doing good. My friends consider me inspirational, my colleagues find me profitable, and I’m almost always useful.
And to kick things up to the next-peg, I’ve followed Christ all my life. It would be easy to continue my life as-is, doing what I’m doing, picking the low-hanging fruit that’s available.
In order for that to happen, I’d need to downgrade what I believe about God, dwindle what I believe about life, and destroy what I believe about myself, and deny what God believes about me. If I was willing to do that, I’d be a contender for the last temptation of life. But I’m not willing!
The last temptation of life is to believe less about yourself than God does
About the “Faith of God:”
“By faith we understand that time/the worlds were formed…”1 Who exhibited “formative-faith” by creating time/our world? You or God?
“I know the invention/plans I have for you.”2 Those plans are guaranteed to work for our good, and they will remain in force as long as we live. How much faith did God expend on our behalf?
Christ gathered his followers and said, “I don’t call you servants anymore…I call you friends.”3 The ultimate expression of Christ’s faith in his disciples is to upgrade their permanent status from, “religious-faithful”, to righteous friends. What audacity of divine faith did that require?
The solution to the last temptation is to obey the first commandment
Regardless of what you are doing in life. Irrespective of what you have done in life. In spite of how far along you are in life. God’s faith in you and in his intentions for you have not changed.
The theme of the MOVO and the purpose of INDIVIDULARITY.NET is to help you learn to look at your life from God’s perspective. And from where he sits, it’s a great view!
If you’d like to start a conversation on the Last Temptation, click the [Ask Mark – Comment] button.
Blessings and Grace, Mark
1: Hebrews 11:3 – 2: Jeremiah 29:11 – 3: John 15:15