The king had a very important job that he wanted filled in his kingdom. So, he had flyers passed throughout, delivered by town couriers. The flyers read, "Now hiring a royal carriage driver! Please apply to the king." The king was so loved, that there were many, many people who wanted to drive the royal carriage. They thought, "to be able to drive the king! How I would love to care for my king!"
The king interviewed many people and finally narrowed his choices down to three drivers. He called them in for a second interview. This was the interview that would end in getting the job.
The king started out this group interview with this statement.... "As you know I have a daughter, my only daughter, the princess. She is the love of my life. I don't want anything bad happening to her. She has a friend on the far side of the kingdom that she likes to visit frequently. I need someone I can completely trust to take her there."
Each carriage driver said, "I'm you're man king. I am trustworthy. I am safe. I am an excellent carriage driver."
The king continued, "On the route between our mansion and her friends's house is a deep ravine. I'm worried about how a driver may handle the carriage alongside this ravine. I don't want the carriage sliding off and losing my daughter to death."
Further, the king stated, "Now I have a question I want to ask you three men... How close can you safely get to the edge of that ravine?"
The first carriage driver proudly stated, "I can do that safely, O king! I have won many carriage races. I can drive her there quickly and safely. I could get her within one yard of the edge of that ravine."
The second carriage driver proudly countered, "I have never had an accident, O king! I have been driving carriages since I was a young boy. I could get her within one foot of the edge of that ravine!"
The third carriage driver, with fear and humility in his voice stated, "O king, I have had several accidents. And I have learned from each one of them. Once I had an accident because I was traveling too fast. Another time I had an accident on that same ravine that you are speaking. Since, I have learned to slow down and stay away from the edge of that ravine. If I was your royal carriage driver entrusted with your daughter, I would stay as far from the edge of that ravine that I can. I would slow the horses down and we would carefully & safely go past that ravine."
The king dismissed his three applicants. As they were waiting for the king to make his decision, the first and second applicants were called to him. The king told them, "Thank you for applying to be my carriage driver. However, I cannot entrust my daughter to either of you. I'm not interested in speed or how close to the edge you can come. I am interested in my daughter's safety. You are not ready to be my royal carriage driver."
The third applicant was then ushered in... The king told him, "Thank you for applying to be my daughter's carriage driver. You are exactly the man I have been searching for! You have experience. You have had accidents. Moreover, you learned from your accidents. You have learned an important principle that I have tried to teach in my kingdom. I'm neither interested in speed nor how close you can come to the edge of the ravine. I want a driver who will transport my daughter safely. I don't want a driver who is willing to risk my daughter's life. She is the most important person to me in my kingdom. I want her to experience a life of security and safety."
What does this tale tell us about temptation?
Temptation is nothing to be flirted with. It is nothing to be toyed with. Temptation needs to be avoided. Don't even get close to the edge...
My thanks to Rev Steve Ward, who gave the outline for this tale in a sermon.