Exploding Potatoes

Hello Hump Day Readers! Yep, it’s a crazy name for a devotion but there is a lot behind it, and not just cleaning up exploding potatoes! I laugh a bit because many years ago Al and I were so excited about the latest and greatest appliance—a microwave! It was tempting with all the amazing features, but so was the price—yikes! I kept looking and my temptation to just go get one was hard to put aside. After all, we were just a young couple on a shoe-string so you had to be smart about your money (and we still should be!).

Then, about a week later, Al comes home with a new Amana microwave; I stood there with my jaw open, wondering how he got it. My first words were “we can’t afford this, where did you—” he cut me off, and then told me the grocery store had free raffles for a variety of new appliances from Amana manufacturing in hopes of getting people to try them out and, of course, buy them. Al put his name on a few of the tickets and voila—we got what the world’s very best microwave an Amana. I was ecstatic, but I also had to admit that I let out a big breath because the temptation to buy one had already had my wallet in its iron-jaws.

In our world of ‘stuff’, temptation is everywhere. In fact, we so easily succumb to it that we forget the ramifications. In one of my “Daily History Facts” I read a true story about a play that I had heard about but knew nothing about it. It’s called The Potato Creek Chair of Death, written by Robert Kerr. Bizarre beyond imagination; it was about a man who built a timing device that he attached to a shotgun where the timer was set to go off at some point in the next hundred years. In front of the gun, a chair was placed where people who wanted to test their luck could sit for a minute at a time. In the play, thrill seekers came from hundreds of miles around to have their minute in the chair and sit in the shell’s path. They all knew the gun could go off at any time, but they were willing to gamble that 1-minute opportunity.

Opportunity? What bizarre mind would say this could be a “fun” opportunity. Sadly, it caught on and people loved it! After reading this, my mind got stuck, my emotions felt dead. I just sat there, imagining someone having their head blown off. My heart sank. Temptations are all around us, but this? Who would want to risk their life? If the gun would have exploded with a bunch of potatoes, one could laugh, but this play was a deadly ploy of temptation. The writer admits he loves the macabre—me thinks he has a problem for sure.

The scripture from James 1:13-15 [Message] came to my mind:

“Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil saying, ‘God is trying to trip me up’. God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.”

I’m thinking most of us in real life wouldn’t dream of sitting in that chair. Yet, how often do any of us ignore sin and foolishly give in to something that can risk a relationship, health, etc., and give us the inevitable self-destruction that sin brings?

Take a moment and look at this play through your spiritual eyes, emotions, heart and especially through the faith God has given you. What changes you to even want to “sit in that chair and take your chances?” What can get into us so much that we throw out what is good and take the dumbest chances? Do we really think that our sin won’t come back to bite and can even destroy?

In closing, I will tell you I loved that Amana microwave for many years. However, learning how to not blow up the potatoes, the carrots, etc., well, just like us when we take a bad gamble, I did a lot of cleanups! I wouldn’t have had the mess if I would have just read the instructions! For me, when I’m tempted, the best thing I can do is open God’s book—the Bible he has given us to leave temptations alone and walk by his side. It’s in his word where we will find all that we need. There is no temptation on earth that can give you that kind of security. AMEN.