One of my favorite Twilight Zone tales is Season 4, Episode 14: “Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville”. In this hour long episode, a wealthy, aging and bored tycoon makes a deal with the devil so he can go back in time to relive the thrill and challenge of amassing his wealth. It’s a great story with a well-written ending, but what stands out is the initial exchange between the character lead, William Feathersmith and the Devil aka “Miss Devlin”, played by Julie “Catwoman” Newmar (I told y’all the Devil was a woman!!!).
In this early scene, he has the supposition that Miss Devlin wants his soul in exchange for the discussed favor, to which she replies:
“On occasion, Mr. Feathersmith, that is part of the transaction. But in your case, we got a hold of your soul some time ago, I believe. Let me check this... (pulls his life-file from the cabinet and reads off his manipulative and exploitative history, with many events resulting in the financial ruin, poverty and suicides of others) …no, Mr. Feathersmith, I’m afraid your soul is not yours to negotiate.”
At risk of jeopardizing my own situation, let me say that that thought scared the ever-lovin’
shit hell out of me! (I know I just pounded another nail in this coffin, somewhere).
Imagine knowing that you are alive and (seemingly) well, having already sealed your own fate. That’s like being told that no matter what grades you get for the remainder of the grading period, well, you might as well not even show up to test for the final exam because your dishes are DONE, baby.
Not very encouraging, is it?
One thing that separates us from Satan is the fact that unlike him, we all have a chance at salvation. He, on the other hand, can’t get back into heaven no matter WHAT he does.
But this is not bible study or a history lesson. I WOULD, however, like to stress a point.
We’re so quick to blame the devil for our bad thoughts and decisions – THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT! No one wants to be accountable for their own thoughts, words and actions. So when times get tough, we quickly command, “Get thee behind me, Satan!!!”
News Flash! Nobody continuously pushes a car going downhill! Lucifer does not waste his time on people who’ve purchased advanced VIP Seating on the Hellfire Express.
In short, he ain’t thinkin’ ’bout choo!
His efforts are dedicated to those striving to live a righteous life. Those who want to strengthen and maintain their relationships with Christ. Why does he need to tempt those who’ve already succumbed? The ONLY time people like that fall under his radar is when they have those moments of clarity, experience Godly sorrow and consider changing their ways. That’s when he steps in and grabs grandpa and U-turns him into to the bedroom so he can go back to sleep.
So if you feel that the devil is intervening, chances are, you must be doing something right and he’s trying to shut down your operation. If anything, be encouraged and stay the course. I’m not saying that living a good life should be a journey without hiccups and speedbumps. But let’s be honest, the life of a Christian is full of challenges and a daily battle.
In fact, if every day were a parade, I’d probably want to take a closer look at the characters on the floats…
I’m just sayin’…