Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Idols beginings

This morning I was blessed to sit in our Sunday School class as we discussed the need for spiritual renewal in the context of idolatry. The fact remains for me that I have a great number of idol and unfortunately the things that are dearest to me tend to top the list. My wife, children, work, and the praise of men are just a few that I name that I know come from my lack of trusting int he Lord and seeing his goodness to me. I also know that I waver from seeing these as blessings of my heart instead of things that I crave, love, and worship besides God that I am perplexed at times of how to change my heart.
However the greatest idol in my life has been for the last twenty years food. And although my attempts to deal with this have been fleeting at best, I am more and more becoming aware of the 'Why" this idol has such a stronghold on my heart, my life, and ultimately makes me run to it over and over again for something that just doesn't satisfy. This morning the statement was made the our idols make us, "Trust them, love them, and obey them," three things that are very true about all the idols in my life but especially food. First trust. Food tend to tell me that if you come to me, I will make you better. I will quench your need and fill your stomach whether you are actually hungry or not. I will meet that felt needs that burns inside of you whether in delight or in sorrow and I will bring you peace and comfort if even for a moment. Sometimes in the ripple of the day the moment of peace is more pleasurable than lasting joy and comfort because I am so far removed from the Creator that I think, "All I have is the idol." This is why I trust it so and this is why I return.
The second- Love. The Idol of food is something that I truly do love. I love the taste of all my favorite foods and pleasures that God has given us in this world. But do you ever notice how there is no better bite that the first? Even while we eat the pleasure fades from it grandeur and falls away leaving us either temporarily satisfied or longing for more at the end. It tells me, I will love you back, when words of people are not enough and the things that are said about you hurt or leave you limping, I will not let you down. I will even if I am not as good as you desired, I will still fill you. I will always be here. I wonder if I wasn't raised in the American fast food culture if I would struggle with this so deeply? Access to food has always been such an escape for me to run to when I never knew why I was upset, food did not let me down. When family and friends were not there, food was. And I have loved it for being there.
Third- Obey- the fact that food asks me to obey it makes me even more upset cause right now I do not know how I can enjoy food. I know it will taste good when I partake in it, but I do no know how to let it not make me do what it says to do. I can not stop by my own will when I being to eat and my body is no longer trustworthy of telling me when I am full. I do not know what source I can think that is the greatest participant in ones own demise. I am my worst enemy. I obey food when it calls, when it comes to offer, and when it says to do whatever. And I obey. I do whatever it says.
I am still not sure of what to do with all of these thoughts regarding my idols but this much is true. I am more in touch with the depth of my idolatry and sin in my heart than I have ever been before. And this at least keeps me clear that that where I am and where I have to go from here is still one step closer to seeing God change my heart and draw me closer to him, there very thing that my idols try to prevent me from.