Satan loves it when we’re weak. He buffets, torments, and tempts us – precisely when we are least equipped to resist. That is his plan – and we should beware. When circumstances, and their effect on us, render us as weak as a newborn kitten, insofar as vigilance goes – that is when he strikes.

And now for your blunders. On your own showing you first of all allowed the patient to read a book he really enjoyed, because he enjoyed it and not in order to make clever remarks about it to his new friends. In the second place, you allowed him to walk down to the old mill and have tea there – a walk through country he really likes, and taken alone. In other words, you allowed him two real positive Pleasures. Were you so ignorant as not to see the danger of this? … How can you have failed to see that a real pleasure was the last thing you ought to have let him meet? Didn’t you foresee that it would just kill by contrast all the trumpery which you have been laboriously teaching him to value?

– The Screwtape Letters

I was down yesterday. Very down. Spending the evening with three kids (Bethany’s two, and her sister’s toddler) helped immensely. So, of course, since Satan can’t stand for us to be cheered by life’s real, enjoyable pleasures – just his perverted and twisted versions of them – he attacked something else. Something which I wasn’t even thinking of – but should have been. See, when you aren’t vigilant, and you are focusing on the immediate concern, the everyday temptations, and your usual vices (or, besetting sins) are forgotten. You fail to look out for them, as you normally would. You let your habitual (to the extent that you have one) guard down, to deflect the sucker punch that just came flying in at you from an unexpected quarter – and get nailed by the opponent you usually face, because you neglected to pay attention to it. You’re usually on guard against those types of sins – even though your defense has some holes in it.

When that unexpected attack comes from out of nowhere, we all have a tendency to ignore the opponents we usually face. When we do, we get burned – and burned badly. After all, it really has fought with us so often, it knows our minutest slipups, and how to best capitalize on them. Our first thought, after “deal with incoming” should be “but, keep an eye on ____. it will take any opening I give it, and it’s not known for showing mercy.” hindsight is 20/20, of course. However, it doesn’t have to be your hindsight. Or mine, next time. It can be a hard-won foresight.

Note: This post was written the day after the previous post, Sorrow. It’s just taken me a bit to carve out time to transfer it to the blog. I’m not going to detail which sin is my besetting sin, or any of that. It’s not a heartfelt confession – it’s an exhortation, and a lesson I think we all would do well to pay heed to. At least in my humble opinion. I learned it, and applied it – and I thought you might like to hear what I learned.