October 31 – Confessions of a Potato-Race Cheater
I participated in a Halloween gathering at church to support our youth. I was also bamboozled into playing in those silly youth games. First, I was blindfolded and told to smell, feel and taste various gross objects such as smelly socks, sour pickle juice, and weird pudding. Ecch! The youth enjoyed the thrill of having a minister at their mercy. In return, I got a sour taste in my mouth and a piece of candy. Sigh!
The next game, however, got me in serious trouble. Russell, another youth leader, and I were asked to get on our hands and knees and see who could push a potato from one end of the room to the other the fastest. The only body part allowed to touch the potato was our nose. Oh, the shame of it all.
Russell later described what happened: “I was putting my nose to the spud, working my nostrils to win the race. Just as I neared the finish line, a potato went flying past me. No mortal nose could send a spud flying with such velocity. It was obvious to me what happened. Larry Davies, our minister, our moral example, cheated. Instead of pushing with his nose, he picked up the potato and threw it toward the finish line.”
Three witnesses agreed that I indeed maliciously and without any sense of shame, picked up the potato with my hand and threw it over the finish line.
“Holy French Fries, you’ve got me dead to rights,” I cried out. “I confess! I confess! The frustration and shame of Russell beating me by a nose was too much to bear. I plead guilty to the shameful crime of illegal potato throwing. Please forgive me!”
We all had a good laugh but then we talked about real sins from potato-race fibs to more horrendous acts. The hard truth is we all make mistakes. We stray from God and pretend nothing happened? Psalm 32 gives encouraging answers:
“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me.” (1,3,4)
Don’t keep silent. It’s not what you did as much as what you do next. “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ — and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (5)
We Confess, knowing God will forgive. This is the cornerstone of our faith. “But the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him.” (10)
I still throw potatoes occasionally, but it is comforting to know that if I am willing to face my mistakes and seek God’s help, there will be a promise of grace to see me through. I trust God enough to bet the spud farm on that promise!
Prayer Challenge: What sins do you need to confess? Trust in God for grace.