Thursday, September 22, 2011

tequila and you...and temptation.

i'll admit it, lately i've kind of had a thing for country music.  i blame my teenage daughter entirely.  she got me hooked.  but well after emily climbs out of my car i find myself still listening, still singing along. i guess it has something to do with the stories - every song a story. and this country-kind-of-city girl is a sucker for a story--any story. sure, a lot of them tend to sound alike:  hard times, hard woman, hard life...that kind of thing.  blue jeans and beer and country roads and kissing...those kinds of things too.  the words are predictable, the rhymes often laughable, but in a strange, sweet way, i like it.

and earlier today, on a sunny september afternoon, while driving along with windows down and my suv emptied out of children and their noise, the song tequila and you came on the radio - now there's a title for some suburban afternoon errand running!  in his song, kenny chesney explains that both (tequila and you) drive him crazy.  i guess he was paying "you" a terrific compliment, comparing her to a bottle of booze.  how could "you" be anything but flattered?  regardless, he somehow makes it all sound good.  it's a good kind of crazy.  the kind of crazy we all want to feel every now and then. that kind of crazy that takes us a little to the edge...a little out of the box...a little bit away. i drove down the road (a quite paved and very stop-lighted city road, mind you) and had to laugh at my pondering a song about tequila while heading to the neighborhood cleaners and market. 

except the song isn't really about tequila at all.  "one more is never enough" he sings further into the song.  and it is this line which hits home.  ahh, i think.  that's it. that's so true.  kenny chesney has not only the perfect country singer's name, but he perfectly sums up sin.  he gets it: one more is never enough.  kenny isn't just country, he's right on -- one more is never enough.  at least not for this sinning girl it isn't.

i don't really have a struggle with tequila, one is usually plenty.  to be honest, one is usually more than enough.  but i've got my other things, and i know what one more is never enough feels like in my world.   so often i think just one more time, just one more thing, just one more this, just one more that. knowing full well i am flirting with the line. camping on it. crossing it.  i am astounded at how often i convince myself just one more won't hurt, won't harm, won't hinder.

it can be one more drink, one more cookie, one more minute of sleep, one more pair of shoes, one more errand, one more commitment, one more sassy response...pretty much anything.  and some of these things are even good.  but it is not really about the things, it is about me.  i am amazed at how persuasive i can be with myself.  i am amazed at my ability to justify a bad choice or an unhealthy decision.  i am amazed at the battle which rages daily in me.  temptation - that's what it is.  that's what he's really singing about. plain old temptation.

i don't know all that much about tequila, but i do know temptation.  i am certain if eve hadn't taken a bite from that apple, i would have been next in line. i would have been right behind my girlfriend eve in that garden.  no doubt about it.  that slippery, sly serpent would have barely had to hiss in my ear and i'm sure i would have taken a nibble, taken a taste.  just to see. just to try. just... i can hear myself already justifying my actions and making excuses for my behavior and explaining it all away to adam and God and myself.  because i do that. it comes so natural for me. my natural self.  my natural sin.

it doesn't matter if we're talking about tequila or apples, temptation is hard. we aren't tempted by ugly things, we're tempted by that which appears good. it's about the desirable.  we're tempted by things which make us feel good and look good. and it's a struggle. it's a battle. always. 

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good 
for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable 
for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  ~ genesis 3

the apple was beautiful...and it would make her smart. see what i mean? eve didn't stand a chance. she was doomed from the start. she had an opportunity for both beauty and brains with only one bite. the world wrapped up in an apple.  it was just like that pair of suede slingback heels i saw earlier this week at DSW.  well...okay, maybe not exactly.  but temptation comes in all forms.  serpent or sheep's clothing or shoes.  

eve's gotten a lot of flack for her decision. she knew the rules.  she knew the boundaries.  she even knew the consequences.  but she took the apple.  so true for often we know what we're doing.  we can hide (eve hid) we can blame others (the serpent made me do it), we can tempt others (here you go, adam). we can explain away our actions and point the finger elsewhere...but we know.  and we end up afraid and naked and scrambling for our fig leaves.

"then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  but the LORD God called to the man, “where are you?” he answered, “i heard you in the garden, and i was afraid because i was naked; so i hid.”

temptation is really about hunger.  we are all created hungry for something. we have this hole inside and it comes with a great need to fill it.  isn't it funny God chose to use food as the image of first sin.  the apple.  for it is our aching spiritual hunger which sets us out searching.  we spend a lot of time tempted by the things of the world, pouring them into this hole, only to find they are never enough. they never fill.  they can't.  we remain hungry and empty and searching.  and the only thing able to fill this hole...this gaping, aching, empty God.  the apple didn't do it...and nothing of this world will.  only Him. 


* so if country music isn't your thing, maybe you'll like the song i am posting below.  alli rogers is one of my favorite artists, and she sings well of this garden temptation.  she sings of this good and evil battle.  she sings of the hunger inside all of us...the hunger which can lead to His hope.  i am attaching the lyrics, 
but listen to the song, if you get the chance.  i think you should be able to click on the link below.  i think.  


Tonight at the end of light
Tonight, I feel lonely
I thought I heard my heart stop beating
I long for you to hold me
I guess I feel like Eden
The twilight tried it’s best
Tonight I feel good and evil
Against my chest 
Would I love you less or better
If I didn’t miss your face
Read your words like a love letter
Would I have known your grace?
I guess I feel like Eden
Aware of all I amTonight 
I feel good and evil
Against my skin
We’re all homesick Is love the reason?

My hunger led me to your hope
Until the end of this colder season
Keep us warm
Cause we are always Eden 
The day after she fell 
We feel good and evil 
And choose which one to tell

1 comment:

Aus said...

Morning Jody - great stuff here - and seriously a good point - that which we desire above all things - when it seperates us from all the things that are important (God, family, personal integrity) is the 'issue'. The solution (at least for me) is to substitute those things with other things that bring me closer to the really does work!

and besides - "tequila makes my clothes fall off" (Jimmy Buffett) - and that's not pretty....

hugs - aus and co.