“11 “Take care for yourself so that you not forget Yahweh your God by not keeping his commandments and his regulations and his statutes that I am commanding you today, 12 lest when you have eaten and you are satisfied and you have built good houses and you live in them, 13 and your herds and your flocks have multiplied, and you have accumulated silver and gold, and all that you have has multiplied, 14 then your heart becomes proud…” (Deut 8)
What is the idol of America?
“17 And you may think in your heart, ‘My strength and the might of my hand acquired this wealth for me.’”
Independence. Freedom. Self-rule. Self-reliance. Individuality. Self-esteem. America doesn’t bless God, God blesses America! We are taught from a young age whom we should worship; who deserves our praise and respect; whom we should admire; who, as someone on farcebook quoted Buddha today, “deserves your love and affection.”
The self-made person. You. Who is America’s idol? You. The self. We are the masters of our own destiny. No one has a right to put laws on my body. No one can tell me what to do. I am free!
I am. My will be done. Sound familiar? If not, then you probably didn’t read my, “What lies beneath” post.
But what if you’re not a confident person? What if your timid and frightened much of the time and in awe of such people but could never be one. What if you don’t ever feel free? What if all that American Pride talk makes you angry because you are a slave to the system? A slave to some codependent relationship? A victim of circumstances beyond your control? What if your just happy going along with the flow and not being noticed? The nail that sticks up is the nail that gets hammered. You’d be perfectly happy and content to put in your forty and be left alone to tend your garden, raise your kids, build your train set, play your video games, watch tevee. You’re a nice person. You don’t impose your will on anyone. You don’t demand the world bow to yours. Chances are, you are the one doing all the bowing, eh? What then justshane? You’re not the one doing the “Lookit Me” lambada in the center of the gym floor, you’re doing the wallflower waltz over here in the corner, minding your own business, not hurting anybody.
Well, as they say in Jersey, “Lemme axe you a question.” Just how bent do you get when something or someone cuts in on your waltz? When someone disrupts your “me time.” You see, structuring your life to avoid or manage the things you’re afraid of, conflict, pain, suffering, risk, is just trying to be king of a smaller country, one that doesn’t feel too big for you. You’ve set your sights lower but you still answer to no one but yourself within that fief. You are still trying only to please you. Even if you are a people pleaser! The people pleaser is submitting to things they may fear or loathe only to avoid something they fear and loathe even more: loneliness, conflict, lack of identity and to gain something they want more. When people need us; like us; love us, we are validated. Our existence has purpose. We give to get something we want: approval, affection, inclusion, security. I deserve this because I’ve done that. So if someone denies me my “me time”, when someone denies me affection, when I get hurt instead of love, I am not getting something I’m OWED! I have been wronged. This might explain the popularity of karmaic thinking. The appeal is, everyone gets what they deserve. They tell me you can identify your personal idols by asking yourself questions like, “What makes me angry?” “What do I fear?” “What do I spend money on?” I say, these don’t identify idols; they identify your forms of worship of the true idol…
I’m going to stop here today because I’m wondering, do you believe this? Am I off base? Am I stretching a point further than it can bear? I’d really like to know where y’all are at on this point before I go on.