Thursday, September 4, 2008

Idle...No. Idol...Yes!

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, 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 :).



Joyful said...

Susan, what a great post!!! I just finished doing Kelly Minter's study, "No Other God's". It was a real eye-opener for me too. So many things can sneak in and take up residence on the throne of our hearts.

I was a huge Bobby Sherman fan too! Do you remember a show that he was in with the theme song, "Getting Together"? I had his albums (yes, albums as in 'records'). Songs like "Pony Express" and "Jennifer". Memories!

"Getting Together" with God now,

Gotta Run said...

We will miss you on the trails but you know I totally understand.

Wish I could join you on Sunday but I know you understand that as well.

Being creative it what life it all about :)

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Great post, Sus. Yes, it is very amazing what we can discover to be our idols. I'm hoping my small group will choose to do the study "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter. In the BM study Living Free, it briefly touched on idols and how so many good things can become idols. That chapter in Beth's study opened my mind to the things that I could have as idols. Therefore, I really want to do this with my gals at church. I think it will open their eyes and enrich them through searching their hearts also.

I miss ya, girl.
Love ya much.

The Patterson 5 said...

What a wonderful message here. It is so easy for idols to get in the way of our true lifes purpose. Growing up I only thought of idols as the golden statues in the Old Testament- I knew I did not have any problems with those. Of course later I realized idols can be so many other things. The world and especially the media really push the idols...we need to have the perfect car, the perfect body, we need to buy all kinds of products to make our lives happy and content..... Isn't it great that through Christ we are free from all of this bombardment! We know all we truly need is Him and He will provide for what we really need. Thanks for blessing us with your words of wisdom. I think I will try your 5AM time with God-it's actually quiet here at that time!

Kimberly said...

It's amazing isn't it? How we can think we don't have a problem in a certain area and then God gently reveals to us where we need more of Him.

Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my blog. Obviously, an idol I struggle with is what others think of me. I am surrendering this to Him, though, and praying that He will help me feel secure enough in His love that I don't have to seek it from others.

Thanks, again, for your comments! I am so glad we met in Greenville!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I love to run, although not nearly as much as you. I do it more because I need to, not because I want to. And while running may not be my idol, I have others. Great of those "a-ha" moments in life when Godly wisdom turns into Godly growth.

Thanks for your honesty and for sharing your growth with us.


Christy said...


I found your blog from Lelia. I am going to be doing the upcoming study as well and just wanted to drop by and say hello.

I love to run too. I haven't been keeping up with it the way I should though. This week I was trying to get back on track with it and have it be a regular part of my day like it used to be. You have run ALOT! What a great inspiration!

Have a nice weekend!

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Hi, Susan!

Our Gather & Grow group is starting that book a week from tonight! I have been reading ahead and am really being blessed! :)

Enjoy your son's event blessed during your quiet time! :)

Sharon :)

Chatty Kelly said...

It's true. Anything can be an idol. Even our own children! That was one I had to learn. I was infertile, so that when the miracle occurred - well, I thought my kid walked on water, if you know what I mean! But God does show us our areas of sin, and now I work hard to get my priorities in order.

Thanks for sharing through your own learning!

Chris said...

WOW, What a great post Susan!

Very spot on for me.(scarily so) Especially with the SC Half coming up and my trying to squeeze 16 hr training weeks into my already hectic work and family time......

This hits me hard. I have some evaluating to do...

Lelia Chealey said...

LOVED this Susan!! This was such a good post.
love you much,
Oh, and I loved the ending!!!