2 Chronicles 33:15-16
“And he took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside of the city. He also restored the altar of the Lord and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and he commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.”
These two verses are part of a reawakening in Israel’s history. It such a beautiful story of God coming to Manasseh and causing repentance. Manasseh lead the people into this. As part of this, he destroyed all the idols that were in Israel. Not only that but he restored the altar to the Lord and then the people worshiped the Lord. This is such a beautiful picture of the Lord bringing people back to him. I see this as as beautiful because I have a personal connection to it.
Reawakening in My Soul
In case you have not heard, this has been a difficult summer. Sara and I have been having to deal with a lot really tough stuff surrounding her mother. It has been a roller-coaster of a summer. And I would say I have not responded well to it some of the time. However, the Lord has shown an idol that has ruled my heart for far too long. Even as I am writing this, I am being flooded with different excuses for it. “it’s okay it was part of how you grew up,” “the thing itself is not evil,” and so on it goes. This is actually difficult to write for I have fears of how people will treat or think of me, especially my family. But none of that matters any more for the Lord matters way more than any of this. By now you are probably asking, what is he talking about? Or why is he taking so long to get to the point? I will let you know it is not a statue but something far more controlling than that.
The American Idol
For the sake of clarity, I am not talking about the show. I am using the word Idol as something that is placed above God. So what idol am I talking about? Sports. This has been something that has been brewing for a long time. It started when the Rangers lost the world series in 2011. I noticed something very wrong with me. I was depressed from a sports game for a month. This was not healthy but I thought I will just begin to change my mindset about sports. Which I believed was enough, I was wrong.
When Sara and I were dating, I decided to take her to Flying Saucer in Fort Worth while the Rangers were playing. My purpose was to invite her into this part of my life. She did not react in the way I planned. Instead of joining, she lovingly pointed something out. I will never forget what she said “While you were watching game, you were not the Andrew I love.” This was eyeing opening to me but it was not an immediate decision to change. I have attempted since then to still stay involved in sports while balancing the rest of my life. I have come to the conclusion this is no longer possible.
The question is now what has changed this summer to have me make this decision now, especially with the Rangers having such a good season. Sara and I have been really seeking what the Lord wants us to do with our lives. We also have always tried to do things together. Despite my attempts, Sports has always been my thing not hers. I began to notice that it was not helpful in my life. So the Rangers won, so what it does not change my life. So the Rangers lose, there is no reason to get depressed. I also noticed when I listened to sports talk radio. It would lead me down sinful paths like more gluttony and the like. Also my thoughts were not thinking of the Lord or even my wife. Thus I will follow what is written in 1 Cor 6:12 “All things are lawful’ but not all things are helpful, ‘All things are lawful for me’ but I will not be dominated by anything.” My prayer is this is only the beginning of something greater. I am looking to destroy more idols with Sara like Manasseh did with Israel.