I Have Problems. Wait, Just Kidding
Have you ever been so selfish that you let your baby cry while you finished up a video game? I haven’t either.
So goes the opening line of the song I Haven’t Either by Andy Gullahorn. I had never heard of him before Kristin shared this song with me, but I was an immediate fan after one hearing. I found the song so compelling I shared it at Family Camp as part of our Sunday morning worship by the river. It fit in perfectly with our weekend theme of getting free of the idols in our lives.
Camping in the heat can be rough, but thankfully Misty Meadows has lots of shade, cools nicely at night and best of all, there is a river to play in all day. Nearly 120 of us gathered for a very special weekend together, enjoying the beauty of the campground, disc golf and board games, smores and dough boys on the campfire and a marvelous meteor shower in the night sky.
One unique activity this year was a game called Idol Hunter. I hid 18 tokens around the 20-acre property, each representing an idol commonly worshipped in our day. For example, a hiking boot represented making a god out of nature, a framed portrait pointed to excessive devotion to family, and a Russell Wilson Broncos jersey signified the foolishness of worshipping human heroes. (This resonated with both Seahawks and Broncos fans alike!)
The kids get especially fired up for scavenger hunts and in 48 hours all but one of the tokens had been found. However, we are often far less zealous to discover the real idols in our own lives, and in fact are naturally inclined to protect them. We are quick to justify their place in our hearts and confidently declare there isn’t a problem.
Why do we defend our idols when these are the very things that use us, abuse us, and keep us from God? As Andy Gullahorn sings, one reason is shame. We consider admitting our faults to fellow believers, but then retreat to denial out of embarrassment and fear of rejection. Or we confess in a moment of humility, but then quickly try to move on and pretend it never happened.
As we drove through Salem on our way home, we noticed a car on the shoulder of the freeway with its hood up. Kristin and I both remarked that it looked a lot like a family that had been camping with us. Turns out it was! Their car had suddenly died and left them stranded by the road in 103-degree heat. Ugh. Thankfully, we were able to circle back and lend a hand.
When we pulled up, they did not say, “Hey, thanks for your concern, but we’re fine. We just wanted to stop and stretch our legs a bit.” No, the problem was obvious and they gladly received our help. Oh that we would learn to do the same with the much more serious problems in lives. That foundational habit will put us on the road to freedom and peace with God.