I'm doing an online Bible study from Lysa TerKeurst's book, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. Join Lelia and other bloggers over at Write from the Heart. These chapters were wonderful. I wanted to post about one of the questions at the end of chapter sixteen. What idols do I have in my life?
When I was a little girl, my "idol" was Bobby Sherman! Oh, he was just too cute!! When I played Barbies, I would change my Ken doll's name to Bobby Sherman. Then, along came Donny Osmond! Good-bye Bobby S.--hello, Donny! And it continued! In middle school, there was the cutest basketball player for the University of South Carolina. I had all of his stats, posters from Daddy's Gamecock Club book, ticket stubs, etc.! I was determined that one day, I would marry him! Eventually, you grow up and those childhood idols are replaced by other idols. For some, it's prestige, money, things, food, alcohol...you get the picture. I really didn't believe that I had an idol.
This summer, I was talking to Kelley. She is just precious! We were discussing running. I told her about some races that I had participated in last year. These were very long distances and required running many miles per week in order to be prepared for upcoming races. Exercise is very good for you, and so is food, and so is sleep,and so are many things when done in moderation. Running is a part a of my lifestyle. I've run for many years and really enjoy it. Last fall, child #1 made the varsity swim team as a freshman. We were thrilled! In high school, you have opportunities to travel. Well...he had a meet in Charleston --about a 3-4 hour drive from here that required being there overnight. Guess who had a long trail run that just HAD to be run that weekend??? Mama. This wasn't even a race--just a training run. I was so determined to follow that training schedule to a T that I didn't want to miss a run. So, my family headed south to the beach, and I headed up to the mountain to train--with tears of guilt. I trained and trained and finally the big race weekend rolled around. It was an awesome experience--one which I'll post about at a later time.
I shared these stories and others with Kelley. In godly wisdom, she stated, " So running was kind of like an idol." Simple words....and true. I had just never put this together! Lysa says that an idol is anything that becomes a barrier to your relationship with Christ. Listen to Habakkuk 2:18-20:
"An idol does no good, because a human made it; it is only a statue that teaches lies. The one who made it expects his own work to help him, but he makes idols that can't even speak! How terrible it will be for the one who says to a wooden statue, 'Come to life!' How terrible it will be for the one who says to a silent stone, 'Get up!'It cannot tell you what to do. It is only a statue covered with gold and silver; there is no life in it. The Lord is in his Holy Temple; all the earth should be silent in his presence."
Yes, I had an idol. And, yes, I was now aware of this! And, yes, I did something about it! Lysa says that we shouldn't have to give up our dreams (training and partcipating in long races), but that we should surrender the dream and place it behind God on our priority list. One of my issues was waking up early to get in my run before the day began. Now, it's waking up early to spend time with my Lord! God does 5 am really well, y'all! The running has taken a back seat with my priorities. I still get in my mileage--very creatively! But, my family and my time with God doesn't suffer. My family is very supportive of my running, and they do encourage me to train and race. It was God who showed me that I was not making Him my priority, and that I was making running my idol. My perspective has changed and so have my quiet times--for the better! Matthew 6:33 says Seek first God's kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.
And where will I be on Saturday when my other trail running buddies are out on the mountain? I'll be cheering on my son at his cross country meet with my family --after my quiet time :).