It’s been gray, rainy, coldish, and gross for almost a week now.
I am soooooo sick of this weather. But then, I’m sick of all weather. I just want it to be sunny and warm, and “sit outside and soak in the rays” weather.
All of which is making it hard to be motivated to do much of . . . anything.
And yet, life goes on. Laundry, meals, cleaning toilets, work, kids, whatever. Still needs to be dealt with. Kinda hard to pull yourself out of the blahs when it’s so icky outside.
And even more than that, with all of those things piling on top of each other and pressing down, and the weight of the gray icky blahs compelling me to just zone out and vegetate, where does putting First Things First fall?
So, on my Monday morning, I gave the girls a day off, so I could get ahead. I sat down with my Bible study work and worked on that. I’m actually ahead for my Wednesday night Bible study. Must be a record.
Currently, we’re working through “No Other Gods” by Kelly Minter, and last week, this particular phrase stuck out at me:
Even when you have these grandiose plans, spiritual plans, nonetheless, things can unexpectedly turn. I suppose that’s why I’m writing all this in regard to this week’s homework, because there will always be a million nagging tugs on our time and attention, and somewhere in the middle of all the tugging it is essential we build a fortress, wherein only God, His Words, and our heart exist together for a time. It rarely happens accidentally.
Fascinating, isn’t it? I challenged my group last week, to really being focused on making sure we did our homework, for example. Not for the sake of “doing it and being a good little student” but for the exercise of being INTENTIONAL with our time with God. That something is going to try to get in the way of you spending time with God. And in that struggle, that war within ourselves, that is where we will truly start to learn about our answers – what other “gods” are we putting before what we profess to be our God? Or as Kelly Minter says, is there something that is getting our true “service” while something else is getting just our professed “worship?
This is truly an interesting study, if you haven’t seen it. Consider the story of Sarah, who being promised a child by God himself, decided that things weren’t happening fast enough to suit her, and took matters into her own hands with Hagar. Or Hannah, who also “needed” a child or heir, instead took her worries and concerns straight to God and prayed at the temple.
How often is that a normal longing, need, or even actual blessing from God becomes something we serve? Becomes an idol?
I know, that before I met my hubby, I had to give up all things “wedding” related. The longing and desire to get married and have a family was becoming a god – it was causing me to make some idiotic choices. So, I had to just cut myself off completely. No wedding shows, no bridal magazines, no fantasizing and mentally creating that perfect day. BUT, knowing this ahead of time, as soon as my now-hubby did propose, our first stop was a newspaper stand where we bought up every single wedding magazine I could find! No longer was the “wedding/marriage” my idol – I could enjoy that “blessing from God” in the priority-level order God intended, being completely sure that I was marrying the person God had specifically chosen for me.
Another gal in my study mentioned how even “food” has become an idol in our American culture. Organic, not organic, gluten-free, fat-free, Paleo, sugar, color dies, whatever – health food has become an obsession. She had this hilarious article from a magazine that even said “Food is the new American religion” and how we worship at the “Whole Foods altar.” Hilarious but honest and true. (And since I am now gluten-free, and most of my friends are super into the whole natural foods/organic mumbo-jumbo, I totally enjoyed the connection!)
And goodness, there are cultures out there where just getting ANY food is appreciated????
So, I guess that’s my pondering for this post. Even those blessings we or “Gifts” (I’m referring back to Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts here) can be something we put before the One who actually gave it to us. What about those abilities, skills, or talents we have? What are the things we have out-of-order in our lives? It’s not just the “bad things” that can be idols. It can be the normally “good things” as well.
What do you think? Please share!