I love the NCAA basketball tournament. I mean I really love it. My husband and I often take the first two days off work. We will go to a sports bar where we can see several games at once. We whoop and holler and we bask in the whole experience. I will often do this to the exclusion of everything else. Yes, sadly, even time with my Bible and Jesus.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” Matthew 6:21
Does enjoying the NCAA tournament make that an idol? No. Does missing time with Jesus because of the tournament make it an idol? Yes. I am finding my joy in something of this world, which takes away from my time and therefore my joy with Jesus.
I find it interesting that so many of the things I chose over time with God have been taken away in this time of social distancing. So much of my busyness is for God, but when I can’t get out to be busy for God, I find myself in His word, conversing with Him and listening for Him to speak. Oh, there is so much joy in that time!
Could my busyness, even for God, be an idol? I would say yes, it can be. When doing becomes more important than being with Him, it is an idol. When saying look what I do for God becomes more important than serving like Jesus, it is an idol. When my head is spinning with everything I have to do, for God, and I am exhausted and not meeting His purpose for my life, busyness is my idol. There is not a whole lot of joy in this.
I feel like the reset button has been set and you and I have the opportunity to go back and remember the simplicity life has to offer. Somewhere being busy became the norm, maybe even a status symbol. It’s like we wear an albatross around our neck proudly saying, look how busy we are. And I don’t know about you, but I am weary to the bone of being busy.
The reset gives us the option to figure out what is important in our walk with Jesus, and how that relates to our purpose. It reminds us how to fill our time with meaningful projects that will further His kingdom. The reset button gives us time to reach out to our neighbors and friends to make sure they are ok. Were we doing that before the reset? I know I have made more phone calls in the past week, than I have in the past year, talking to people and learning more about them.
“We make a god out of whatever we find the most joy in. So, find your joy in God and be done with idolatry.” John Piper
Can I just encourage you to spend part of this time during our reset to look at the things that bring you joy over your time with Jesus? How can we put Him back into the #1 place in our hearts? I invite you to ask Him to give you simple joy by spending time in your Bible and prayer time, to delight in God’s word and voice. I believe that if you do, it will change your life in ways you can’t imagine until you let go of idols and run to Jesus.
What is one thing you can’t do right now because of the stay-at-home mandate? Was it an idol? Are you prepared to allow Jesus to be the biggest joy in your life? I'd love to hear from you!