Movies, Milkshakes, and Idolatry

09 Dec

I purchased two tickets, one for me and the other for my eldest son, to go watch the new Narnia movie that is showing this Friday night – “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. I was excited as I would get to spend time with Micaiah (just he and I) and I really wanted to see the movie. I e-mailed my wife from work and had her let Micaiah read how I was taking him to see the movie Friday and had already purchased the tickets. When my second born son expressed that he was feeling cheated because he wasn’t going, Lauren told him she would buy him a milkshake on that night. Micaiah heard he wasn’t getting a milk shake and said he would rather not go to the movies because a milkshake was way better than watching Narnia.

I was genuinely hurt as a father. My son had just chosen a milkshake over his father. I had planned it, I had gone out of my way to purchase the tickets, made sure my schedule was clear so we could spend time together and he regards it as nothing and freely trades it for a milkshake and suggests to me that I take his younger brother. He didn’t know what he was doing, he was just thinking of himself. As I thought about this, I caught just a glimpse of what we do to God. We get so caught up in the milkshakes (and other blessings), that we effortlessly trade them for Him. We (humanity) look at our options and think we would enjoy the milkshake over time with our Creator. And it’s not always that we don’t want the movie either, it’s just that we want it on our terms and relationship with God is of no consequence. Sometimes we know one would place us in the presence of God and we avoid that choice like the plague. We cling to our melting milkshakes as if our life depended on it, while we reject the Giver of life.

The thing Micaiah wanted wasn’t wrong in and of itself, that’s not what saddened me, it was that he wanted that over me. The same choice was made by Adam and Eve in the garden. All of God’s gifts were there, all of creation was theirs to enjoy, and God Himself was with them. Yet they chose the things within life over Life itself.

How foolish, yet everyone of us are born doing the very same thing.What is it that you have valued over God? What is it that you are desiring, unwilling to relinquish, at the expense of experiencing relationship with God? I don’t know if you have children, but try to imagine your child telling you he would rather get a milkshake than to spend time with you enjoying an event you planned especially for him. Last night, I felt just a finite twinge of how idolatry must make God feel. See, I didn’t create my son, I didn’t breathe life into him, I didn’t create everything beautiful that he enjoys, the air he breathes, and so much more that are pointers of my love for him as God did; so my hurt is really not comparable to God’s, yet at the same time it did gives me a glimpse of it.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.God created us to know Him. He desires to share Himself with us, yet we’re absolutely consumed with lesser things. John Calvin said that the heart of man is an idol factory, and I agree. I was taught another lesson about idolatry last night, and God used movies and milkshakes to do it.

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Posted by on December 9, 2010 in Christian Life


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