Thursday, June 23, 2011

Still When I Tried to Figure It Out All I Got Was A Splitting Headache!

The title happens to be a line from The Message Bible paraphrase of Psalm 73. 

There are certain things in life that I don't understand, that I can do nothing about, that I can not change.  To me, they just seem wrong and I don't understand why others do not see what is right in front of their face? 

Case in point:  a headline on Yahoo news-something about the worst desserts for a "bikini figure".  Seriously???  With everything going on this is a headline???  This obsession with being "perfect" I don't understand.  What I do see though is the damage it causes, particularly to young women and young girls who don't feel that they live up to the "ideal" portrayal. 

I understand eating right, getting enough exercise and rest, positive self esteem, etc.  These are things that maintain your health physically, mentally and spiritually.  When certain messages are taken to an extreme they become idols.  Is that harsh?  I don't think so.  When the messages that our children are taking in happen to be "if you don't look like this or dress like this then you're not good enough" that's a problem!  Taken a step further, another message is "if you don't own this, or drive that or live in a neighborhood that looks like this then you're not good enough."  Let's add one more to the list "if you don't act like this or think like us then you're not good enough."  Is this what we have become?  Are we so concerned with appearances that we fail to see the good and wonderful things inside?  Is this really the message and legacy that we want to pass on to our children? 

All through the Old Testament, when Israel was judged and then punished it was consistently because of two things.  First, they turned away from God and turned to idols.  Second, they were judged on how they treated "the poor, the widow, the orphan".  Our "idols" may not be sacrificing our children to Molech or dancing around the Asherah pole but we have our own modern day idols that hang around our neck!  Our track record is looking mighty shaky!  It's right in front of us!  Why do we not see it and why do we not change our ways? 

Jesus, when asked, said that the greatest command was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.  (Mark 12:30-31)  How do we do this?  Worship the Lord in private and public.  Prayer-pray for wisdom and discernment (the ability to see beyond outward appearances).  Find a way to serve others.  When we start focusing on what is truly good and important then we will find that change is possible.  Not an easy task but with God, "all things are possible". 

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