I grew up in the NYC metro area where there are a lot of toll bridges and toll roads. When I lived there, the toll plaza had at times a dozen lanes into which you could pull up and toss your money into a basket or at the toll collector. (Now there’s Easy Pass which does seem to move things along.) Picking the right lane to get in to can be tricky business. Inevitably I would pick a lane that I thought was moving quickly only to find out that the first lane I was in would have gotten me there sooner. I’m pretty sure we’ve all made similar misjudgments, at the Walmart check out line or popcorn line at the movies. In all these cases, not the end of the world, just a little frustrating.
A dear friend (Mark) sent me something recently that got me thinking about these lanes we choose to get in. In this instance though it spoke about the various ‘false gods’ we human’s worship which have now been taken away from us because of this Corona virus thing. We worship athletes – no more sports. We worship actors and musicians, no more theaters or concerts. We worship money – economy shuts down. We worship intellect in the form of education – schools are closed. We worship our bodies – gyms are closed. Even something so seemingly good as our friends and family are unavailable to us. What do these other, ‘lesser’ lanes we choose have in common? Well, if they become the center of our love and adoration (i.e. worship) they distract us from the true lane we should be travelling on.
This was critical in helping me understand why the very first guidance we humans were given from the God that created us all was, “I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other Gods before me.” And the explanation is stated perfectly by my main man when it comes to stuff like this, C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:
God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended-civilizations are built up-excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans.
So, how did Satan get into this? Well, Satan is all about that second commandment in that Owner’s Manual, “You shall not worship false Gods.” Worshiping anything or anyone other than God is all Satan wants us to do. Once we get into that lane, he’s got us. From there he can take us to all the twisty, little side roads and tourist traps that move us away from the true road back to our home – the Home that was created for us.
But here is the really Great News. We are the drivers and we always control the wheel, and the lanes are those white striped ones that allow you to switch the lane you’re in. So, during this very unusual time during this very special week, consider the lane you’re in, and maybe what’s going on around us all will begin to make some sense. I’ve got my blinker on! 😊