Change or Stagnancy
The Lord was pretty clear on this point: while God does many things for God's people, the people's idols do nothing. They don't see, hear, speak, breathe, or do. So why would people continue to invest time and energy into things that don't serve them? Why do we?
Many times in my life I have continued to invest in a person, job, direction that doesn't serve me. In fact, some of those were downright detrimental to me. So why did I hang on so long? I think it comes down to one simple truth: people are only motivated to make a change when the pain of change is less than the pain of not changing.
Think of something you are hanging onto right now that is causing you distress. What motivates you to stay with the thing, person, or direction? If there was something about making a change that might motivate you to change, what might it be? In order to change, there has to be something worth working toward that is better than remaining stuck. A reward for changing might be just the thing you need to make the change. Maybe the reward is something concrete -- a gift for yourself, a day off, a show, a sporting event, permission to sleep in til noon. Maybe the reward is the benefit of making the change itself. Whatever it is, consider setting a goal, setting an intention for making the change, setting a reward, and then making the change. And ask yourself, does the change bring you closer to God? Does it bring you closer to your most authentic self? Does it serve others?
Go do it!
Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 135
Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; give praise, O servants of the Lord,
you that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both human beings and animals;
he sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings—
Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan—
and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.
Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see;
they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths.
Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.
O house of Israel, bless the Lord! O house of Aaron, bless the Lord!
O house of Levi, bless the Lord! You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord!
Blessed be the Lord from Zion, he who resides in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!