So I am writing this blog while sitting at Dunn Bros. on Chestnut Street (41) in beautiful downtown Chaska, Minnesota. It is a little more empty than normal for this time of day, and there is a sign on the front door that says that they are now closing at 4 p.m. The reason given is because of the closure of 41.
For those of you non-locals, just a block or so south of Dunn Bros., heading out of Chaska on 41 there is a bridge that takes you over the Minnesota River. Unfortunately right now, the road is closed because of water damage on the other side of the bridge due to the flooding that happened a few weeks ago. That means that many people from Shakopee and other areas on the other side of the river must go either to the west or to the east to find a way across to this side of the river. It is an incovenience for many people, including at least one man from our church who right now has to take the long way around to come and be with us on Sunday mornings. Thanks Ed!
But the reason I mention this today is because of the effect that this road closure has on Dunn Bros. Like I said earlier, it is not as full here as usual and there is a sign on the door that says they are closing at 4. The reason for this lull in activity is that since 41 is closed, many people who would typically pass by here on their way to or from work, are not passing by, and that hurts business.
Businessess rely on traffic, because as people pass by, they are enticed to stop and come in and spend money. With the road closed, Dunn Bros. is missing at least a portion of their regular business simply because people are not passing by. Instead they must rely on people, like me, who come here as a destination.
So let me use this as a quick analogy for temptation. James 1:14,15 says, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” As we continue on our journey through life, there are many opportunities for us to fall into sin. We say that we want to do good and we want to make good choices, but we find ourselves giving way to temptation, being dragged away and enticed.
So how do we stop that? Well, what we see happening at Dunn Bros. is a good reminder. People are taking a different route on their journey and are not passing by anymore, and since they don’t pass by they are obviously not tempted to come in. Dunn Bros is still here and they could still come in and enjoy a nice cup of coffee, but they would need to make it a destination, not just because they passed by.
The same is true with our lives. On our journey through life, we need to intentionally stop passing by temptation. We think we will be strong enough to resist the temptation when we see it, but why allow ourselves to be tempted when a simple change in our journey can allow us to not even face the temptation as often? For instance, let’s say internet pornography is a temptation that you find difficult to resist. If you keep getting on the internet without any safeguards in place then you are going to find yourself passing by areas of temptation that will entice you to fall into sin. Try steering away from that route. Stop using the internet without safeguards. Find ways to take a different route so that you don’t even pass by. And before you know it, you will find that the sin doesn’t so easily entangle you anymore.
Now before I close this blog, I think it is important for me to say that I don’t mean that Dunn Bros. is a source of sin or temptation. I just like the analogy of not passing by. The opposite is true of Dunn Bros. I think this is a great place and I really want Mike and the Dunn Bros crew to make it through this tough time. So I encourage you to make Dunn Bros a destination, and not just come in when you pass by.