We recently took at trip to Orlando, FL. We vacation there often because we REALLY like Disney World. When we went last year, we had such a fun time at Downtown Disney. In the middle of Downtown Disney, there is a stage, music playing, and a DJ that encourages all listening boogiers to dance, dance, dance! Last year, I danced with my kids there. My son, Joe, actually won a dancing contest there! It was really fun and a great memory. Well, I had it in my head that this year, we would do the same thing and have a repeat blast of last year, that is until.........
Do you ever get an idea into your head, but then it doesn't turn out the way you thought it would AT ALL! I am actually quite an idealist, it can be a good quality.....or a bad one.
Idealism is good in that idealistic people are usually optimistic and believe the best.
Idealism is bad when things do not work out as planned and the idealist does not cope well with the results.
God showed me something related to my idealism that I want to share with you. First, though, I will share the rest of my story.
......everything went wrong! I had been talking about dancing at Downtown Disney for days. I was so excited about it. I even planned our activities around it! (I even got a little out of submission to Chris....another lesson learned for another time.) That is how desperately I wanted to dance with my family there. Finally, it was time, the moment for which I built up in my mind to be super fun family time. I heard the music and grabbed Joe and raced down to the dance floor and started to boogie leaving Chris, Luke and Sarah behind in the masses of people.
Next thing I know, Chris is there with Sarah, but Luke is not with him. OH NO! Where is Luke? Thankfully, we immediately saw a lady walking down the steps to the dance floor helping a teary eyed Luke find his family. Immediately, I was convicted. I couldn't believe in desperation for my ideal, I actually lost my son! I went over to him, but there was no consoling him. He was a six year old scared to tears thinking he lost his family. I am embarrassed to say I thought, "Well, maybe he'll want to dance in just a minute when he calms down." It pains me to admit, I still had my ideal in my head. At this point though, no one wanted to dance. I still wanted to, but I was the only one. My ideal was crushed and I did not handle it well.
It took me longer than it should have to regain my composure. I decided I needed to be alone. I sat alone with my tears and the Lord. I sat there knowing my attitude was wrong, knowing I wanted to get it right, knowing I should just be thankful, after all, we are at Disney and Luke was safe. I knew all of this, yet it was hard for me to get my heart straight that night. That night did NOT go as planned, my ideal and flesh left broken.
I did eventually get my heart right that night. It took a little time and prayer. I asked my family and the Lord for forgiveness for my wrong attitude.
So, why did my ideal not working out send me in an emotional tailspin?
Because my ideal had become an idol.
Eidolon is the Greek word for idol. Eidolon (Idol) : an image; whatever represents the form of an object, either real or imaginary.
Effigies is Latin and it can be translated "idol" or ideal.
Remember, the definition above stated that an idol can be either real or imaginary. We can hold up idols in our minds in the form of our "ideals". We may worship our ideals and chase them day after day.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21
We often just think of idols as carved golden images, but it is anything that we put above the Lord and His will. The footnote in my bible says, " Any god, object, or pursuit other than that directed by God's revealed will and way declared in His Son is an idol."
An example of this may be a person chasing a dream that is not God's will for them and they put that dream before the Lord and His will for their lives. There are God given dreams and I am not referring to those. However, those also can become an idol if placed in front of the Lord.
My ideal became my idol that day as I chased it without considering that God may have a different plan. I put my plan before God's plan. (Not a good idea!) I followed my flesh instead of the Spirit. Who knows what I missed out on because of being in blind pursuit of my plan.
It is good to have dreams, but we need to be sure that our dreams line up with God's dreams for us. The only way to know is to spend time with Him and in His Word.
I hope you don't think too badly of me now that I was brutally honest with my humanity and laid my sin at your feet. I don't ever want to put my flesh above the Spirit's direction. However, I am human and I am sure this will not be the last time I give into my flesh instead of being led by the Spirit. All we can do is just go to the Throne of Grace daily, die to ourselves and our flesh daily, and be sensitive to hear from the Lord so we can be led by His Spirit.
Father, Forgive us for any idols we have had in our lives. Show us, Father, if there is anything before You in our lives. We pray for Your plan in our lives. We want Your perfect will for us. We know it is a good plan. Father, help us daily to die to ourselves and be led by Your Holy Spirit. We desperately need you Lord. Thank you for your mercy and grace. In Jesus' precious and Holy name, Amen.