Tuesday, February 6, 2007

What is your greatest love?

This was the subject of my Ministers' homily this past Sunday in our sparsely attended Service (a temperature of 3 degrees and 4 feet of snow kept some people away). Our Minister had been talking about the subject of money the past few weeks and this certainly was one of the potential loves that people have that keep them away from God.

One of the Commandments that we are given is not to worship idols. Now most of us never think that we are engaged in idolatry since we don't have a golden calf that we bow before and worship. But idolatry extends way beyond that concept. It is really about putting other things first in your life before God.

I can think of many situations that this might be true for us humans:
  • money and material things or financial security
  • sex
  • time
  • alcohol and drugs
  • cultish associations (e.g. environmentalism, PETA, global warming, etc.)
  • religious pursuit (i.e. worshipping the tenants of the religious belief above God - would God call you to murder innocents in a suicide bombing?)

During certain periods of my life I can plead guilty to pursuing more than one of these diversions above any admission that there was a deity. I think that it is a difficult thing for us human beings torn by our earthly desires to subjugate those desires to a higher being. Secular people try to worship their own deities (without admitting such) by taking up great "causes" such as global warming. But these are no different than the pursuit of a new car in terms of idolatry.

Our countries wealth has made it easy for us to be distracted by millions of things we "must have" (new homes, HDTV, Ipods, new cars), given us the free time to pursue extracurricular activities like sex, alcohol, drugs or take us causes. But at the end of the day do any of these pursuits make us fulfilled, happier or assured of what comes after death?

In many ways we are no different than those alcoholics in a 12 step program. We feel the tug of our particular weakness from moment to moment and we need to re-focus one day at a time on what is our greatest love.

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