When I was a child, I remember reading the 10 Commandments. I remember the “toughies,” which were honoring my mom and dad (even as a 28-year-old, I still struggle with this one), and not lying, and not stealing (candy from my older sisters). I remember looking at a few of the commandments and being thankful there were a few “easy” ones I knew I wouldn’t ever do: murder, coveting my neighbor’s wife (probably didn’t fully grasp the meaning of that one at the time), and worshiping idols. That idols one almost seemed like a freebie.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the true meaning of idolatry. In our current world, that doesn’t mean erecting a golden calf. In my everyday life, I see examples of people making—and worshiping—idols out of seemingly harmless items. Nice clothes, $35 spin classes, their partners, or even themselves.
I have “given something up” for Lent for the majority of my adult years, like sugar or swearing. However, this year, I wanted to focus on not making idols out of things or people that I’ve allowed to overtake my commitment to God and desire to follow Jesus’ teachings. I found within the first few hours of Lent that this was a far greater challenge than I thought it’d be when I was a young child trying to follow the rules. Even reflecting on the many items and people I’d allowed to distract me from God in my past brought me a harsh reality. Turns out, not making idols wasn’t the “freebie commandment” I thought it was. But with this awareness, I look to spend this Lent closer than ever to God.
Quin Woodward Pu
Appointed readings for today: Micah 7:7-9, Psalm 27:1, 10-18, John 9:1-38