My Favorite God

When I was a teenage girl, I was completely enamored by a certain boy band. And when I say enamored, I mean ob-sessed! Infatuated, consumed, totally crazy for the five man crew (though man is stretching it a bit)… I was convinced I was going to marry the youngest member. There was no stopping me. But by the time I entered high school, they were on their way out of the limelight, and before my sophomore year ended, they had split up. It had long been uncool to like them anymore, but inside I was crushed. I wasn’t ready to let my obsession go. Thankfully, I was able to let them go, and concentrate on my schoolwork and real boys I could actually potentially marry. But I’m not going to lie, I never completely forgot them. And for the longest time, if you asked my now husband who the one man is that I would leave him for- he could, without hesitation, give you the name of my favorite boy band mate. Everywhere we’ve moved over the past thirteen years, a cubed tote (with all five members’ faces on it) has been part of our luggage that has relocated with us (and, just to clarify, this cube is filled (heavily) with all of my fan memorabilia (magazine articles, pins, t-shirts, dolls, etc.)). And each move, my husband has griped and grumbled at how ‘pathetic’ it is that I keep it, and that he has to look at it (not to mention, he’s the one that has to move it, it’s too heavy for me to lift). The group reunited a few years ago, and I immediately knew I had to go to their concert. I watch TV shows they star in. I follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Not too long ago, they (finally) received a Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame. And do you know who they thanked first for making it happen? A fan! A fan who never let go of her obsession; she followed them for twenty years; she petitioned whoever is in charge and got them a Star!

Why do I tell you all of this? (I promise, I’m not still obsessed!) I realized that, had I continued my infatuation with all of the zeal I had when I was twelve plus, I could’ve been the fan that got them the Star. I could’ve been the one that they thanked; that they notice at every tour; and maybe I could’ve been the wife of my ‘fave’. And that teenage girl in me that will never die was a little jealous. But the woman that I have become recognizes how wonderful my life is; without them in it. Maybe it’s because I give up easily. It wasn’t cool or easy to follow the band after they broke up (this was long before any sort of social media… we didn’t even have the internet yet!) But I’d like to say it has more to do with growing older, maturing, and recognizing the things in life that really matter. But besides all of that… I have long replaced my obsession with the group to the One actually worthy of my praise and worship: Jesus.

It may sound trite, but what started, or may have even seemed like a normal teenage rite of passage, my infatuation was more than just that. I made that boy band an idol. My thoughts were consumed by their music, they likes and dislikes (thanks to Teen Beat magazine, I knew all of their favorite ice cream flavors and hobbies). (Sadly, this is still the tedious information that floats in my head- I can’t remember what I wore yesterday, but I can tell you each of their birthdays, full names, number of siblings, etc… SAD). (And it’s even sadder to think of how intelligent I could be if my brain had room for real knowledge, or if I would’ve studied any subject in school like I studied my Big Bopper magazines). The point is though, I wasted my time, and much of my life on this idol. If I’d put only a fraction of that time into my God… {sigh}.

An idol in our lives is anything we put in priority over God. Nothing should be more important to us than God. (Exodus 20:3, Exodus 23:13, Deuteronomy 5:7). God gets angry, and jealous, and hurt when we choose something over Him. (Exodus 20:3-5) And to be honest, knowing that my ignorance of my youth has hurt Jesus, breaks me. I wasted so much energy on the wrong Passion. To know that as much as I followed the ‘band’, I should have been following Jesus. I thought I was the group’s number one fan. But as much as I revered the group, God revered me. God is my biggest fan. And I pushed Him aside and missed Him amongst all the other ‘stuff’ in my life. (And sadly, I still do at times). As I was among the thousands in the stadium crowd cheering for my favorite group, God was lost in my world cheering me on.

So what’s your idol? Maybe it’s not necessarily a singer, or even a person. Maybe it’s your job; or your kid’s activities; or your favorite sports team; or money; or [gasp] coffee… (I’m not going to lie, there are days I crawl out of bed for my coffee, not my Bible.) (I am still a work in progress).

We all put things in front of God. He is not our priority (or this world would be a very different place). I don’t mean to be judgmental or make you feel guilty. It’s a fact; we are too selfish to put ourselves last, and God first. We’re all fallible. But we won’t be forever. So instead of waiting for eternity to practice our perfections, strive for infallibility now. You won’t always succeed, but it’ll be worth the effort. (1 John 4:10)

 You can’t love God and your idol. (Matthew 6:24) Pick which idol you truly want to idolize. God or you (your other stuff that consumes you from God). Once you’ve made that decision, you’ll truly have ‘The Right Stuff’. (Sorry; I just couldn’t help it).