Dear Idol

Dear Idol,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. I’m wondering why I devote so much of my time and energy to you. I mean, you’re not the best thing that’s ever happened to me. In fact, you’ve left me feeling miserable, guilty, and anxious quite often.

I Don’t Make Sense

Why do I continue to worship you, day after day and night after night? Why do I continue to pretend that you’ll somehow bring me lasting pleasure and satisfaction? Why do I continue to act like you’re worth the misery, guilt, and anxiety you bring into my life whenever I bow down to you?

I know you don’t like it when I hate on you. But I have to ask myself—and you—why I stay with you. Why I kneel to you. Why I worship you instead of the One who truly loves me.

I continually pour myself out to you. But. You. Do. Nothing.

So Ahab sent orders among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long are you going to struggle with the two choices? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him so much as a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left as a prophet of the Lord, while Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Now have them give us two oxen; and have them choose the one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people replied, “That is a good idea.” So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose the one ox for yourselves and prepare it first, since there are many of you, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under the ox.” Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it, and they called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they limped about the altar which they had made. And at noon Elijah ridiculed them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, since he is a god; undoubtedly he is attending to business, or is on the way, or is on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep, and will awaken.” So they cried out with a loud voice, and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until blood gushed out on them. When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come forward to me.” So all the people came forward to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. Then Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed. Then he laid out the wood, and he cut the ox in pieces and placed it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time,” so they did it a second time. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” so they did it a third time. The water flowed around the altar, and he also filled the trench with water. Then at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet approached and said, “Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that You, Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood, and the stones and the dust; and it licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God!” Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slaughtered them there. (1 Kings 18:20-40 NASB, emphasis mine)

I know your ways. You burden but never bestow. You demand but never deliver. You pressure but never provide.

No matter how much I harm myself—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—you remain silent.

You don’t speak to me. You don’t answer me. You don’t pay attention to me.

The One Who Does

But Idol, do you know who does speak to me? Do you know who does answer me? Do you know who does pay attention to me?

The One whose fire fell on Elijah’s altar and consumed everything in its path. The One whose wrath fell on His only Son and consumed the sins of the entire world. The One who was, is, and forever will be more deserving of my worship than you.     

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