I get these great daily devotions for Lent from Christianbook.com. If you want to sign up, the link is here. Today's edition is from a book called "Lent and Easter Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton." It really spoke to me, as I hope it will speak to your heart. An idol is not necessarily something carved out by human hands. It's actually more: something carved out by the human heart.
Idolatry exists wherever the thing which originally gave us happiness becomes at last more important than happiness itself. Drunkenness, for example, may be fairly described as an engrossing hobby. And drunkenness is, when really comprehended in its inward and psychological reality, a typical example of idolatry. Essential intemperance begins at the point where the once incidental form of pleasure, which comes from a certain article of consumption, becomes more important than all the vast universe of natural pleasures, which it finally destroys.
Lunacy and Letters
Have You Not Understood?
To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol?--A workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts for it silver chains.
As a gift one chooses mulberry wood --wood that will not rot-- then seeks out a skilled artisan to set up an image that will not topple.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
Lord, my idols are all dead things. They are not living; they cannot act. How do I forget that so easily? Yet they promise to comfort me, Father, when I am afraid, lonely, or dejected, because I can see them. I cannot see you, God, and so I easily lose faith. I instinctively turn to something tangible. O Lord, have mercy on me. I believe; help my unbelief.
I got this in a daily devotional for Lent. Just had to share it!
Five years ago I came to believe in Christ's teachings, and my life suddenly changed; I ceased to
desire what I had previously desired, and began to desire what I formerly did not want. What had previously seemed to me good seemed evil, and what seemed evil seemed good. It happened to me as it happens to a man who goes out on some business and suddenly decides that the business is unnecessary and returns home. All that was on his right is now on his left, and all that was on his left is now on his right; his former wish to get as far as possible from home has changed into a wish to be as near as possible to it. The direction of my life and my desires became different, and good and evil changed places...
I, like that thief on the cross, have believed Christ's teaching and have been saved. This is no far-fetched comparison, but the closest expression of the condition of spiritual despair and horror at the problem of life and death in which I lived formerly, and of the condition of peace and happiness in which I am now. I, like the thief, knew that I had lived and was living badly. I, like the thief, knew that I was unhappy and suffering. I, like the thief to the cross, was nailed by some force to a life of suffering and evil. And as, after the meaningless sufferings and evils of life, the thief awaited the terrible darkness of death, so did I await the same thing.
In all this I was exactly like the thief, but the difference was that the thief was already dying, while I was still living. The thief might believe that his salvation lay there beyond the grave, but I could not be satisfied with that, because besides a life beyond the grave, life still awaited me here. And I did not understand that life. It seemed to me terrible. But suddenly I heard the words of Christ and understood them, and life and death ceased to seem evil, and instead of despair I experienced happiness and the joy of life undisturbed by death.