Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Confessions of an Idolater

Did you know that I found happiness in West Virginia????  I did!  I took a photo of it, see?

Ed and I were visiting favorite friends in Morgantown, West Virginia which included the football game of the year for the Mountaineers.  I saw this when we got gas...and I had to photograph it.  I knew it would be coming to a blog near you soon.

I started this series and acknowledged my idolatry here...but I stayed pretty benign and safe with my confession.  But I bow down to the idol of security and comfort (details to follow).   To review, the main idols in our lives that can manifest in a myriad are:
  • power/control
  • approval/affirmation
  • security/comfort
I admit it!  I don't necessarily go after highs or to feel spectacular...I just don't like to feel bad or uncomfortable.  I did not return to school until 46 to finish my undergrad (while working full time) and then went straight to graduate school (leaving an income behind) getting my Master's one month shy of my turning 50.  Scholarly work is solitary work...a lot of writing and reading.  And I would get anxious under the pressure...and I did not like that feeling.  Eating curbed that feeling...and I could do it while writing or reading!

After grad school, I had to develop my career, which means you go to boot camp.  For me it was doing outpatient therapy with children, adolescents and families in inner city Cleveland (an hour away), putting in 60 hours at least eacg week with immense pressure to meet productivity of billable hours. I would get home around 9:30 at night to follow with several hours doing paperwork.  I noticed I would experience a small woosah by stopping at Swensons for a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake without leaving my car before digging into regurgitating therapy progress notes.

Eventually, I got into healthcare and a job that had been on my radar since I interned there. I was working in a premiere center where the performance bar was pretty high.  Weeks into the job, my father was diagnosed with terminal six months he was gone.  I had to perform (I was still in proving ground) despite the horrible feelings of grief and loss.  But what seemed like harmless calming with carbs had now become a stronghold  in my life.

I did not notice this when I took this photo, but do you see that evil creature in the corner of the window where you place your order?  I did not notice it because I was focused on the happiness.  In the same way, I did not see that I was becoming enslaved with worshiping security and comfort...seeking it through other ways than finding those things in Christ alone.  Not only have I allowed this stronghold in my life, but I have also crushed the heart of God when He wants me to worship Him only...  He is not only worthy, but He also knows that He can meet my need for security/comfort.  He's so clear on this!
Come to me all who are weary and beaten down, and I will give you rest.  Matt. 11:28
From the ends of the earth will I cry unto You: Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2
Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the right time.  Casting all your anxiety upon Him, for He cares for you.  I Peter 5:6-7
When my anxious thoughts multiply in me, Your consolations delight my soul.  Psalms 94:19
So at the end of this series, it comes down to the conviction and gentle guidance the Lord has laid on my seek Him and Him only...casting my idol I continually renew my mind with His word.


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