Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.
1 Samuel 12:21
Well, it has been some time since I have been able to put words down. I have been off in my own “little world.” Literally…my world has gotten so small lately. Isolation could describe it to some extent. And I absolutely hate it. I have been languishing away…facing the empty nest. My daughter is soon to go off on her own. My youngest son is going to visit with his nephew, his brother, and sister-in-law for several weeks in July. Honestly, I sort of dread it.
I have had several suggestions as to what I should do with my time while I am alone. Make a “Bucket List” (taken from the movie “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson). While I get the idea behind that, there is just something creepy about doing everything I want to do before I never have the chance to do them. Besides I could not think of one thing I would want to do and even if I could think of one thing, who wants to do that alone?
Now you might be asking, where are all your friends? Where are the people you hang with and do fun stuff with? Well, let me fill you in on that area of my life. I hesitate to even bring it up but I have decided that if I can’t share it here where else can I share? I want to explain this without sounding like a whiner or woe-is-me. The fact of the matter is that the topography of my life has changed so significantly that I don’t even recognize it. Four years ago I was a stay at home mother of four. I spent my days getting kids to school, keeping my house, planning meals and cooking, taking care of my husband. Gave time to women’s ministry and took time to scrapbook on occasion with friends. My life was focused on everyone else. In the midst of all that I walked with God on a daily basis.
Over the years everything on that list has gone away. Everything except walking with God. Now I am forced to focus on myself and this has been the struggle of these past months. Since the beginning of 2008. You might get the sense of that through some of my prior blogs. I really don’t like all this self-focus and reflection. I find things I do not like and or things that I thought was there but isn’t. As of late, I have been “avoiding.” Avoiding the changes I need to make in my life. Avoiding the reality of the situation I find myself in. Even (and I hate to admit this) avoiding God.
Here is where I want to get brutally honest…..in hopes that I open a can of worms. Ok, that saying just seems funny to me…I might have to write something on that later… Just within the last 7 days, God has revealed some not so nice things in my life…
- Idols have crept back into my life
- God is not pleased with my actions
- I must change or there will be consequences.
If you’re interested I will define some of these. I am hoping that there are others out there that might relate and perhaps share their struggle or a prayer for me. I realize that the one thing a Christian should not do is walk alone. We are not islands. We need accountability. We need fellowship. We need to love and be loved. We need to have interaction. God created us that way! When everything is balanced in our life…there is a great peace and joy. When any one area of our life is out of balance there is a restlessness. This restlessness leads our hearts away to find fulfillment. While it should be with God, in Jesus, that is not always the case.
Here is where the rubber meets the road. The idols in my life….television to avoid facing the empty quiet house….food to replace the loneliness… fantasies to wish another reality. Some of these idols God has set me free from before and some were not a problem until now. An idol is anything that is put first in our life before the Lord. Anything you turn to seek fulfillment before turning to God. And because I have the knowledge of what an idol is I have no excuse for keeping them in my life. Especially when God opens my eyes to what they are.
My actions. Well just not doing the things I should do or be treating others the way I should. I know what the scripture says about this. Especially in the book of Romans. If you have spent any time reading that book and trying to apply it then you should know what is expected of you as a Christian. I know we are not perfect and will not always do everything we are supposed to but when we willingly reject doing what God commands us to do then we are in sin. Bottom line! I guess my actions really aren’t so much what I have done but what I haven’t done. Put God first, seek Him and trust Him for the needs in my life that have not been met.
Change or reap the consequences. I am talking about several things here. The food…oh my goodness, wouldn’t it be great if we could just take a pill and have everything we need for our bodies to function. I can’t say I hate food cuz that would be a lie but I do resent it at times. My weight has gone in the opposite direction since January. My New Years resolution was to lose weight and get in shape but my heart has gotten discouraged in that goal. I have to turn that around because I know that my body is God’s temple and I also know that my health is not what it should be. I am dissin’ my temple….the consequences of this are very, very real. The fantasies…well they aren’t wildly crazy just thoughts of a different kind of life than the one I have. Sometimes I think of what it would have been like if I had never been married ever or I think of what it would have been like to have never been divorced the first time or maybe to be a world-traveling business woman…these thoughts take up my time when I am commuting to and from work. Sometimes when I am sitting idle. Some might ask what is wrong with that? I believe they are not constructive, they draw my heart away from God, to discontent and what He has for my life and it keeps me from thinking about what is true, pure and of good report.
So here and now…I am recording these words for accountability. I plan to spend my July breaking down idols, seeking to please God and most definitely make some changes. I am going to let God take my hand and show me great and mighty things. I want Him to fill me up so full that there is no room for anything else!!!
I covet your prayers and ask you to hold me to what I have just pledged!
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.