NOT Castle AnthraxMy style of humor tends to be a bit on the dark & dry side (in addition to my love of puns), much to the chagrin of my family.  And so it is, from time to time, that when I’m doing something serious (working, reading the Bible, playing piano, etc.), something strikes me funny from a completely different (possibly twisted) angle, and that’s the end of seriousness…

And so it was a few weeks back when I heard a preacher quoting The Lord’s Prayer.

Everything was OK until he got to “and lead us not into temptation…

At first it was a little giggle, followed by stifled laughter (which earned me a quizzical skunk-eye from the other person sitting nearby).  You see, in my head, this phrase, lead us not into temptation, triggered two different thoughts/pictures:

First, I don’t know about you, but I can’t say that God has ever led me into temptation, because I have been quite good at running right into it myself without His help.  Sometimes with disastrous results, and other times escaping by a hair’s breadth.

Secondly, I could not help but instantly reliving the end of the Castle Anthrax scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  I’d link it here, but this is a family-friendly blog (most of the time, anyway), so the basic setup is this:

Sir Galahad, who is in search of the fabled Holy Grail, finds himself led on his quest for this artifact to Castle Anthrax, which is populated by “eight score young blondes and brunettes, all between sixteen and nineteen and a half” with nobody to protect them.  When he realizes he has been tricked, his first instinct is to leave and find the Grail, but the girls begin to close in on him and just as his will begins to falter, Sir Launcelot arrives and pulls him out of the castle:

LAUNCELOT: We were in the nick of time, you were in great peril.
GALAHAD: I don’t think I was.
LAUNCELOT: Yes you were, you were in terrible peril.
GALAHAD: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
LAUNCELOT: No, it’s too perilous.
GALAHAD: Look, I’m a knight, I’m supposed to get as much peril as I can.
LAUNCELOT: No, we’ve got to find the Holy Grail. Come on!
GALAHAD: Well, let me have just a little bit of peril?

Followed by the Narrator’s voice-over:

Sir Launcelot had saved Sir Galahad from almost certain temptation, but they were still no nearer the Grail.

Thus, when my ears heard the preacher say “lead us not into temptation“, my mind interposed “save us from almost certain temptation“…

And I don’t remember another word he said for the next several minutes.

But it did get me thinking – there are many times that I model my prayers after The Lord’s Prayer, and when I ask God to “lead me not into temptation”, sometimes what I’m really doing is asking Him to play the part of Launcelot to my Galahad, and to pull me out of almost certain temptation, no matter how much I tell him I ought to have “a little bit of peril”.


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