“You shall have not other gods before Me or besides Me. You shall not make for yourself [to worship] and graven image or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth.” Deuteronomy 5:7-8 Amplified Version
My son came home from college last week for spring break (BEFORE spring…go figure) which triggered a flurry of activities; getting him ‘suited up’ for his sister’s wedding in June, prescription glasses, doctor visit, family dinner; the week was over before I knew it. Somewhere in the whirlwind of busyness we were reminded that he has been a member of the Army National Guard for nine years; now a Second Lieutenant, leading men who are often older than him.
Flashback nine years ago as I drove two hours north for his swearing-in ceremony, having an earnest and emotional conversation with God about surrendering my man-child to Him…again. In my head I recognized that the career path he had CHOSEN, (while we were at war on at least three fronts!) was honorable, but with the risk of him being killed or seriously hurt so high, there were some things I needed to work through with God IMMEDIATELY!
For example, the reminder to NEVER close my fists too tightly over anyone or anything that God gives into my hand. It is too tempting to think of the children as MINE, the house as MINE, the job, MINE, the money, MINE, and so on. But on that drive north to Sacramento I had to recognize and affirm again that my son, my girls, my job, in fact everything I have are only on loan to me through the lovingkindness of the God who OWNS IT ALL, including the very breath I breathe.
Whatever I place the highest value on in my life; to which I ascribe the highest worth…THAT is my god. That person or thing for which I will sacrifice the most of my resources, is who or what I worship; that is my idol. That which I hold so tightly in my fist, refusing to let go even if God Himself tells me to give it up…that has the potential to destroy me as surely as holding on to a grenade with the pin removed.
My Lord, keep me from ever becoming so enamored and preoccupied with the gift that I fixate on making and keeping it all pretty and shiny, no matter the cost! Instead help me to fix my eyes on you, the Giver of all things that are good, and good for me, especially when it is only given to me for a season.
I choose to stand before you with open hands, ready to receive from you all that I need for “life and godliness”, and equally ready to quickly surrender anything you ask/tell me to. You alone are my God whom I worship; the only One for whom I am… just living the thing.