I’m pretty much an all-or-nothing person in a lot of aspects of my life. If I do something, I want to be “all in”–or else I want out. Generally this makes it hard for me to be easy-going and mellow. And it also creates the perfect breeding ground for idolatry.
When it comes to writing, I feel like I need to do it, and to do it well. And I love it. That’s OK. It’s the way I’m wired. But when I find myself liking it a little too much, or thinking about it too often, or letting it overtake my life, or if I rearrange other, more important things to make room for it–no. It’s gone too far. It’s become an idol.
We’re studying the book of Hosea in our church. Hosea is a prophet and God tells him to go marry a prostitute named Gomer. She cannot and will not be faithful to her new husband, and yet God commands Hosea to publicly marry her anyway. He commands this because Hosea is being called to live out a story that the people of Israel–God’s own people–can see and feel in their guts. Hosea’s wife is going to go after other men again and again, and everyone will see it. She’ll be unfaithful to him, even bear other men’s children–and Hosea will raise them as his own. In spite of all that, Gomer will reject her loving husband and run after lovers who will end up abusing her in the end. Hosea will take her back every time, and people will watch it all unfold.
God explains to Hosea that the reason he wants him to make this pain-filled promise to a prostitute is that it mirrors the promise that Lord Himself has made with Israel. He made a promise to be her protector, her defender, her leader, her husband, in a manner of speaking. And she has cheated on him again and again by worshiping other gods–idols.
This morning our pastor exhorted us to examine our hearts and see what idols might be enshrined there, firmly and unashamedly glittering, in place of the true lover of our souls. Guess what popped up the moment I let my mind go there?
This blog and Facebook.
I don’t know if the answer is to quit writing. I’ve thought about it. It might be the right thing to do. Or that might be my all-or-nothing dichotomy in play again. I could quit Facebook. Part of me would really like to. I love to hate Facebook. But then, I have a lot of international friends and Facebook is the number one way I’m able to stay in touch with them…
At this point all I really know is, I need to take a break. I’m going to fast for a week. Not from food, but from writing and from Facebook. I’m going to be more intentional in seeking the Lord’s face. I’m going to try to be quiet and ask him what he wants from me. And I’m going to listen to whatever answer he gives me.
Until next week, goodbye. I hope these next days of yours are blessed and that you take time to hear from that still, small Voice who wants to speak to you, too.