Should I wear shoes or not? That’s the question I ask myself when I reach the end of the boardwalk. Today the sun was warm; I wanted to walk barefoot, wanted to feel the waves lap against my toes. But, I decided my feet were still tender and I’d be better off wearing shoes. I stepped closer and closer to water’s edge, telling myself I could jump back in time—no problem. But—I was mistaken. A wave came from nowhere and washed over my shoe, soaking it. Now the leather will shrink and I’ll need to stretch the shoe to make it comfortable. Sometimes I think I can skirt temptation in exactly the same way, come just close enough to enjoy its thrill, but jump back before I’m ‘soaked’. My confidence, like my shoe, is wet and shrinking, uncomfortable. Thank you, Lord, for this reminder. I must make a deliberate effort to avoid waves of gossip, hurtful behavior, and mean words, not trusting myself to resist the allure, not letting them wash over, soaking me. Forgive me when I lead myself into temptation and have mercy on me. Amen.