It’s one thing to forsake my idols, it’s quite another to get up the next day to find that everything’s gone south and the idol I just burned is the one that I just know will make everything all-right. Before anyone gets the bright idea that “oh, this is just like smoking or losing weight,” no, it’s not. I’ve done both and it’s not the same thing at all. Habits are something you do. An idol is something you worship. Idols are gods.
Current forsaken idol = work. My worth came from my ability to contribute at work and the recognition that contributed in a meaningful way, in a way no one else could quite achieve. I used work to show God how grateful I was for all He has given me. (That’s a lie, but I didn’t uncover that it was a lie till this morning. I worked a lot because I am good at it and I am better at it than most anyone else. I get results.) I wrote this morning in my journal that because I am nothing at work, I have nothing to show for all the blessings I have and all the years I’ve been on the planet.
The statement came “Who said you need something to show?”
Well, I guess I did, now that You ask. How else can I show You how I’m using all the gifts You’ve given me. Right? Apparently not right, not right at all. Burning the Asheran pole means that nothing will be as it was before, and nothing is as it seems.
It is devastatingly painful, and yesterday it left me hollow and raw deep down. It’s painful beyond tears. It’s the feeling of being nothing and having nothing to do to make it better. I realize that there is nothing I can do to fix this. So I brought up all the scripture that I’d committed to my heart. It is an embarrassingly short list, but it is something and it helped ease the pain. Speak truth to hurt, to twist a 60s protest phrase in a different direction. The truth is that the forsaken idol and the pain afterward was designed by the One who made me and who loves me more than anybody else ever has.
That’s the thing with forsaking the idol of work worthiness—what happens outwardly makes no sense. A tyrannical boss, a coworker who is being groomed to become a sugar-coated tyrannical boss, purposeful dismissal of anything I might have to contribute. I used to be held in high esteem and since I’ve forsaken my idol I’m the target of actively hostile and dismissive activity. And it makes no outward sense. Why act like a jerk when you don’t have to? Ah, but that’s messing with someone else’s idols.
I woke up at 12:30 am with all this junk on my mind and to help me get back to sleep I put on an audio of Pilgrim’s Progress. I listened to Christian and Hopeful as they were carried to the gates of the Celestial City, nearly the end of their journey. They were welcomed with trumpets and singing, and they met Jesus Christ face-to-face. The city rejoiced at their arrival. The CITY rejoiced. Can you imagine people rejoicing just because you showed up?
The truth is that it’s not supposed to be OK, at least not now. Job said it well when he said that since he trusted and loved God during the good times, it would be faithless and wrong not to trust and love Him during the bad painful times that make no sense. It may make sense later in this life, and it may not. But I trust in the One who made me that everything will, someday, be all-right.
NOTE: the next blog will be thoughts on how not to hate with a bitter abject hatred those “who use me and spitefully abuse me.”