I don’t know if you’ve ever been into a house with idols. I have. And it was so sad. They were everywhere! In the entrance hall, in the lounge and then there was a room dedicated to idols. Shelves upon shelves upon shelves of idols. There were candles burning all over the house – to little porcelain and plastic figures. They had eyes but they could not see; ears but they could not hear and mouths but they could not speak. Yet, these idols or gods crafted by human hands were worshipped and held in high regard. It was nothing short of devastating.
And, in western culture today, idols could seem quite dated. A thing of pagan religions in the ancient world. But they are not quite as dated as they may seem…
I have slowly come to the realisation that idols are not fashioned only by the fingers of an individual or mass produced by industrial machines. No, they are formed in the recesses of our minds. We create things that we worship. And may I venture to suggest that, perhaps, this holds more danger than those formed from man-made materials. Because, we often fail to recognise them for what they are. Things that are worshipped, idolised and take the place of the God who should be the object of our worship and adoration.
In my case, I too have a household god. One that, each day, is at the forefront of my mind. One that, each day, gets my full attention. One that, each day, is what I seek to find edification in. One that, each day, becomes what I strive to appease.
My household god is my home.
In the torrent of thoughts that send my head spinning, in the chaos of the noise and mess of two busy children and in the general busyness of the rat race we call life, there is one thing that I can control when it feels like everything else is spiraling out of control. It my home.
Every day I seek to make my house organised, clean and tidy. I wake up each morning with a to-do-list. I think about what I want to check off all day. And I strive, unswerving, to attain that clean space. A space where I can escape from the demands. A space where the washing doesn’t overflow from a washing basket; where the couch isn’t laden with random clothing items, bills and keys and where there aren’t an assortment of toys and singing books on my bedroom floor. I can breathe when I walk into a bathroom and not see so much as post-natal hair loss on the floor or grubby finger marks in the sink. I feel my heartbeat regulate when there are no dishes encrusted in porridge and no dirty counters covered in cooking ingredients and dirty spoons.
I live for a clean house. It’s not a stretch to say I obsess about it all day! I work towards it every day. I feel a sense of completeness, satisfaction and happiness when I get somewhere close (as close as one can get with two children unpacking behind you).
And I will seek to achieve it no matter the cost.
Though it cost me my sanity because I have a one-track mind; though it cost me my focus on my children because I push them aside and lose my patience with them and though it cost me time and relationship with my husband because I’d rather be downstairs washing dishes so I don’t have to do it in the morning instead of going upstairs to be with him. No matter the cost, I’ll do it. I’ll sacrifice all things of importance to appease the god inside my head. I will throw myself at the god of my own making and give it my all.
And all the while, I make the choice, both conscious and subconscious, every day to remove God from His rightful place and replace Him with something that is more important to me!
Shock and horror! Did I type that?!?
Yes, yes I did.
Why? Because it must be true. My behaviour, my mind and my heart attest to the fact that having an organised and tidy space is my god – the object of my focus and adoration. It is most important because it consumes me!
Idol worship is commonplace. Each of us is a creature created to worship. We each have fashioned a god particular to our desires and each one of us replace God with our god. It might be the “usual” culprits such sex, drugs, money, alcohol, porn. Or it might be seemingly “model” things such as our spouse, our children, our homes, our standing in society or even something as noble as a social justice cause.
But the fact remains, it has replaced God. If that’s the case, it’s irrelevant how noble or ignoble the thing. And God calls it what it is – idol worship. In and of themselves, many things are not “evil” or wrong but put them on a pedestal, adore them and obsess over them, you are guilty of having other gods before the true God.
Don’t be the rich young ruler who fooled himself in thinking he had “kept all the commandments”. It’s more complex than we think and more sinister than we realise.
To whom, or rather, to what do you bow down to in your heart. If it’s not God, you are an idol-worshipper. Maybe this will prompt some introspection…
And maybe, things need to change…
Tags: adoration, adore, clean, clean house, God, gods, house, household gods, idol, idolise, idolize, idols, organise, organised, organize, organized, priorities, priority, tidy, worship, worshipping
This is brilliant. Exactly right. We are just like the Israelites who consistently worshipped the gods of the people around them. But we think we are different. That’s the trick. We don’t even think there are other gods. And in churches we never talk about them. Well done – first person I have heard talking about our other gods!
Thanks, Alan! It’s sad how we con ourselves into thinking that we are more worthy than others! We are just as guilty!