My husband Charles and I went to the Trail of Lights in Austin, TX. Every year, Austin hosts a holiday trail at Zilker Park. The event hosts tons of concessions, entertainment, food, etc.
On our way to the trail, a young woman invites us to spin a wheel to win a free trip to the Caribbean.
Look – I love free stuff. I’ll take anything – a free sticker, water bottle, tee-shirt, whatever. This woman was telling me I could win a free trip to the Caribbean? I was so in.
My competitive side was on all-out beast mode. I spun the wheel. After spinning the wheel three times, the woman pushed my spin to one of the winning slots.
I was pumped. We won a trip! She walked us to the back of the tent to explain the details.
For the low cost of $40 dollars, we could hold our spot for a 90-minute presentation in San Antonio to claim our prize. After watching the presentation, we would receive our voucher. We travel to San Antonio often, so it felt like a no-brainer.
Two things began to happen as she explained the details. One, I was hella excited. Two, I saw the need to ask more questions, especially since I began to sense a scamming situation.
I asked her if she was scamming me. She laughed and said she wasn’t – she had gone on these trips countless times and had a ton of fun. She even told us about the types of packages she had gone on and gave us advice on which one to pick out.
This was enough for me. My transparent blunt nature obviously intimidates people. She would be too afraid to lie to me.
During this whole ordeal, Charles remained silent. Which is pretty Charles-like. His silence indicated to me that he was fine and okay with the whole thing. I asked him if I could do it and he sheepishly said yes.
After we left, I squealed with glee and began asking Charles how he felt. Homeboy was not amused.
How did you fall for that?
As I began to put the pieces together, I realized these guys were trying to sell us a timeshare. Within a few minutes of reading a couple Reddit threads, I learned the presentation was definitely not a “no-strings opportunity”. If we walked away with anything at all, it would be a gruesome, painstaking process.
I was so embarrassed. I should have known better. I am a freaking marketer for God’s sake.
Charles remained silent because he wanted to teach me a life lesson. Which by the way – I don’t want my husband orchestrating life lessons for me.
We talked about my need for him to chime in. His silence indicated to me that he didn’t have a problem with it. I figured that if he was worried, he would have chimed in. Maybe use our shared identity to whisper a phrase in a native tongue, Malayalam.
I can imagine Adam, Eve, and the snake had a similar experience.
Snake tries to sell Eve on the knowledge she would get by eating the garden. Eve begins to question her identity.
Maybe, I need the extra knowledge.
Maybe, there’s something I don’t have access to where I am.
It looks good right? Why not?
Eve takes the fruit and eats it.
She takes the apple to Adam, who she convinces should go for it. He sheepishly agrees.
They both partake. They both expose themselves to their reality. It shames them. It destroys them.
It leads them to hide.
The first sin of humanity created three real-life sins that we experience today:
- Sin is hostile, it pricks us, and we often fall short to it (Gen. 3:15)
- Womanhood is freaking hard. And in many ways, the inequality we experience today is a result of the first sin (Gen 3:16)
- Finding your Purpose brings real toll, pain, and suffering. (Gen 3:17-19)
Charles and I hid in a Chuy’s (Tex-Mex Restaurant) after reading the Reddit threads. We saw how we could support each other in moments like this – to catch each other before we fall prey to ponzi schemes. Well, him mostly catching me because, let’s be real.
I often feel like why we struggle with God’s law is because we don’t find the stories of the Bible relatable. We don’t see ourselves in them. They are far removed, almost like fairy tales.
So, when we have moments of weakness and or can’t explain the world around us – we don’t turn to the Bible. We find it hard to be relatable.
I often see God’s Word in my experiences. It’s helped me have more empathy for myself and for people. These characters we look up to were designed to help us find ourselves in them. They are relevant.
I find God’s humanity in these stories. How much he cared about these crazy people. And how intentionally God chose to include these people so we could feel less alone.
One of my resolutions is to journey through the Bible and write about the things God shows me, especially in connection to my own story.
The lessons we learn can help each other. The way God reveals his love and character to each of us so uniquely can create unity and family in the kingdom of God.
Gen 3; Romans 6:12-21 (NLT)