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THE EAGLE AND THE MOUSE


There is an old story of an eagle who, on an early morning during the spring thaw, soared high above the forest looking for something to eat. As he followed the course of a river he looked down and spied a small rodent, trapped on a piece of ice that had broken free and was floating down stream.


Seeing an easy meal, he swooped down, landed on the ice, killed the mouse and began to eat. As he continued his meal, he saw that his perch was rapidly approaching a water fall, but determined to finish eating and thinking he would rise into the air and to safety at the last moment, continued his course.


As the ice neared the falls, the eagle finished his last bite. Satisfied with his breakfast he spread his mighty wings and attempted to rise skyward as the chunk of ice tipped over the edge. While enjoying his meal however, he had failed to notice that the warmth of his feet had caused his claws to become embedded in the ice. Try as he might, he could not dislodge them and free himself from what had now become the burden that would carry him to his death on the rocks far below.


Don’t fool yourself! Don’t be overconfident, thinking it can never happen to you; that is a recipe for disaster! Given the right circumstances, any of us are capable of messing up.


C. S. Lewis made these insightful observations about temptation: "No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. That is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is....Christ, because He was the only Man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only Man who knows to the full what temptation means." (C.S. Lewis, Today in the Word, November 1998, p. 24)

From a sermon by Roy Newton, Run For Your Life, 4/1/2011

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