At the minute I’m reading through 1 and 2 Chronicles and it’s wild. There’s all these mad battles happening all the time and it tells you about the different kings of Israel throughout the years. Some of these kings were good and honourable, they focused on God and encouraged the people of Israel to whole heartedly worship Him. However, many of them, like Solomon, David’s son, spent their whole lives worshipping idols. The book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon; it’s his thoughts on what is basically idol worship, how it’s empty and meaningless and will leave you feeling alone and broken. It’s quite clear that after a life time of numerous wives and extravagant living, Solomon wasn’t a happy guy.
I used to think I was immune from idol worship. I told myself that I put God first, that idol worship was for people like the Israelites who worshipped golden calves in the desert, that I’m not that interested in celebrity, and that I didn’t have enough money to worship that. I didn’t realise that spending so much time thinking about my dreams, my plans for my future career, my want to be a wife and a mother, and my fear of not having enough friends was idol worship in its purest form. I didn’t just want these things, I focused on them, worried about them, let them consume me (I say this in past tense but only today have I realised all of this; it’s something I’ve only just started working on and will be working on, with Jesus, for a long time).
It’s easy to pretend to ourselves that we’re putting God first because as long as we read our Bible and pray daily then that’s putting Him first, right? But being a Christian is so much more than these things. If I’m letting my fears consume me, if I’m letting them kill my creativity, stop me from caring about playing guitar and writing and cooking (the things I adore), if they make me begin to wonder why God can’t fill the emptiness that I feel because of them, then I have gone too far. If all these things I want become about me getting what I want, rather than using those possible situations to bless the people around me then I’ve gone too far, because being a friend or a wife or a mother are not things people do for themselves.
It’s easy to look at the lives of people around us and be jealous, to wonder “why do they have that and I don’t?” But at the end of the day it isn’t about having what other people have, it’s about having what I need to have, about having what God needs me to have so He can use me, so I can serve Him. I am where I am, in life and in the world, for a reason, and I should stop looking at the things I don’t have and focus on what I do. It doesn’t mean I’ll be here forever, change is inevitable, but there’s a lot of good in my current situation and I’m so blessed to have what I do.
I have a good friend who I regularly chat to about life and one day, when I was stressing out about a lot of things, she told me, “You just need to let yourself be happy.”
It’s so easy to get bogged down by the sad things in life, the things we don’t have, but to focus on the comforts, the things that make us smile, is so important because life could be so much worse.
To put it simply, I don’t want to end up like Solomon. I don’t want to spend my life putting effort into the things I want and, when I’m old and grey, look back at how meaningless it all was. I want to unashamedly chase after Christ and, in His time, find all the wonderful things He has for me, whatever they may be.