My dad was famous for bringing things home when he was a traveling salesman. Sometimes this just meant he traveled back and forth to a local auto parts store where he worked. No matter, he always seemed to find treasures to cart home. As I’m typing this, it dawned on me that I’m a lot like him. What an epiphany… it only took 61 years for this realization. Better late than never I always say.
When dad brought home fake decorative trees adorned with pink plastic flowers or burnt orange Fall leaves. It was my mom’s job was to try to work my Dad’s purchases into their home design while trying to maintain her own aesthetic style. At times this task proved to be a challenging endeavor.
However, hands down the one item that was the most difficult and loathsome, for my mother to incorporate let alone even bring into the house, was a gargantuan sized ceramic statue of Buddha; sporting both of His arms lifted up high while His rotund belly protruded out unashamedly.
That newly acquired find not only did not fit my mom’s décor, it did not fit her Christian beliefs. So with these two blaring conflicts, she quickly had my father usher it downstairs and placed it in the farthest corner of the rec room… a time out of sorts for Mr. Buddha perhaps chalking it up to his bad behavior. My mom was always good with a “work around” solution when It came to making a home for my dad’s finds.
And while my dad’s crazy Buddha statue had his perpetual time out in the basement. There came a day when that find met his match with two young girls that had far to much energy and way to much time on their hands. My dear childhood friend Janet and I were quite the pair, to be honest I don’t remember what our reasons were to go downstairs and engage with the statue on that fateful day. I have no doubt we were caught up in the midst of some heightened wackiness for sure. It all that mayhem and merriment all of the sudden Mr. Buddha fell over as those arms once raised high, were now completely and cleanly sheared off from the impact while miraculously the arms remained totally intact. Unbelievable!
This smoothest break from his tubby torso, no one could have made happen even if they tried. Believe you me we did not try at all. Truth be told, I’m now 100 % convinced my mom’s prayers for its demise were the culprit. That woman knew how to pray.
Janet and I were horrified at this mishap. I quickly sprang into action darting upstairs for glue to apply a 911 emergency adhesive on the severed arms. Carefully gluing the ends we attached his broken limbs to his body while propping them up with our hands. However, the moment we let go gravity took over causing them to slide down. We repeated this several times with the same end result. It was a dizzying and rather exhausting experience, as if the glue smell was not dizzying enough. In our desperate attempt to keep Buddha’s arms on, the strong smell of glue wafted up the stairs grabbing my mom’s attention, kicking into high gear as any loving mother would do ,she quickly walked down the stairs to investigate the cause of these intense fumes. Even though I was initially afraid of what her reaction would be, I was greatly relieved to see that for the very first time my mom was actually happy that I had broke something.
This funny memory came to mind the other day and as I reminisced this event I also pondered it.
I had just finished my last blog post about Hidden Idols and how God brought about a Holy Spirit course correction into my life… a path of learning to trust Him more. And here I was again pondering idols with a new revelation I felt the Lord say, “Lisa, what idols are you trying to prop up and save in your life. I thought of one unhealthy relationship He had lovingly removed from my life or severed, but I was having a hard time letting go of it, for one I thought I had broken it so therefore I needed to fix it, wanting so badly to mend it when I was not called to do that anymore.
Truth is it was just not meant to be. Sometimes in our lives that will happen, and no amount glue or human effort can prop that up. I’m reminded of Romans 12:18 NIV
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” We need to do our best and leave the rest to God.
The other arm if you will ,was revealed days later when I thought how at times I can let my mind go idle, though its spelled differently it was still an effective way to get my attention.
The dictionary describes idle thoughts as frivolous, trivial, minor, meaningless and purposeless to name a few.
I don’t want to focus my energy’s on unnecessary or valueless thoughts that have no purpose instead I choose to do what Philippians 4:8 encourages us to do.
“Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.”
As I looked at what could be an another idol in my life, I repented of what I believed God was wanting to address at those moment and asked the Holy Spirit to keep me alert to any other idols in my life.
Because truthfully there can be a lot of areas in our lives where idols can find their way into so many of life’s situations.
So, today I’m putting down the tube of glue of my own understanding and efforts that try to keep unhealthy or broken things together… when all along these were actually God’s “divine” and “clean” breaks.
A clean cut from an idol that is not suppose to be there in the first place.
Lord today I pray Psalms 139:23-24 KJV
Search me, O God, and know my heart :Try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Thank you Lord Jesus for breaking off any idols that have found a home in my heart.