Devotion to a sports team or music artist, seeking to meet that ‘perfect’ partner, longing for a baby, searching for the home we really want to live in or the job that will bring greatest fulfillment … such is the focus of many lives. Healthy goals you may think, and they are, but what happens when perhaps nothing goes to plan and you end up frustrated? I think this is when whatever that goal is can suddenly become something essential to us, it’s then that all our efforts are poured into making whatever it is happen, sometimes we decide, ‘at any cost’ … and our focus and devotion can cause us to create an idol.
Tonight we will probably be watching the X Factor on TV and following the determination of various (mostly young) people to attain fame and fortune in the music business. There are many who have fallen at the wayside prior to this in earlier ’rounds’, but those left in the final line up are usually adequate singers, some may even be particularly talented, however each one has probably dissolved into tears at some point, such is the emotional pressure of their longing to succeed. The judges seem determined to squeeze this emotion out of them and the familiar refrain from all is usually ‘I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything else ‘ Maybe so, but life holds so much more …
On the Great British Bake Off this year there was a lovely contestant called Martha, a young girl, very talented baker and also a Christian. She so impressed me, I also wasn’t surprised to learn about her faith because it was tangible on the programme. Somehow the GBB lacked the angst and desperation of a contest like X Factor, and was all the better for it, being mostly good natured, and inspiring those of us cake fans that we might actually be able to learn something new (although probably not a windmill cake sculpture in my case!)
So what are our idols? or don’t we have any, are our feelings about the things we value, love or seek in proportion? I admit it hasn’t always been that way for me but I’m currently in a better place than ever before and the only One who gets my worship is Jesus. I can truly say I’m desperate for nothing else because I’ve found that He is all I need, and if that sounds like a cliche, who cares because it’s true! Oh yes there are several things I’d like to happen or to achieve in life but they are not crucial in any way. God never disappoints us and He offers so much more than the transitory and the temporal: new life, an afterlife and abundant life now … that’s definitely something worth seeking after.