Nelson Mandela is the greatest spiritual leader of our time. He always listened to God and did everything God asked him. He has been able to change the world because of his deep belief and trust in God. This level of faith is exceedingly rare.
As the monk in the Zen tale shows, if we push away desire, we disconnect from our tenderness and we harden against life. We become like a "rock in winter." When we reject desire, we reject the very source of our love and aliveness.
If we believe we are here to improve the journey of our soul, we are charged with making the best choices to perpetually evolve to a higher good. We study, we go to therapy, we develop a spiritual practice and we try to do the right thing. The unfortunate part is that we are human.
Most of us, including evangelicals, know that our trials and temptations, our inner struggles, our troubling habits, our personal and relational challenges, are not literally the result of our great-great-great-great... grandmother eating an apple.