Chapter One -- Empty Promises
"We all long for more of something in our lives. We all give our devotion to somebody or something. These impulses are a part of our DNA's, etched in our natures, as normal and natural as breathing. I believe they have been placed inside our souls by our Creator God.
Simply put, we are a people wired to worship. The question isn't "Do we worship?" The question is, "Who (or what) do we worship?" - pg. 3
"John Calvin famously said, "The human heart is a perpetual factory of idols." I agree. When I look back on my own life, I see a distinct pattern of depending on trivial things to give me what only God can give me. And the results aren't pretty." - pg 5
Pete tells the story of going to Kolkata, India where he visited a temple called the Kail Temple. Thousands of Hindus line up everyday to pray to the goddess Kail. They worship her, hoping to gain power, victory and healing in certain areas of their lives. Near the temple is a tree with red ribbons hanging all over it. Women actually PAY money to buy these red strings and then tie them to the tree, convinced that Kali will now allow them to be fertile and bear children. -- How could these people actually believe that buying some red string would help them have a baby? Couldn't they see it was just a scheme by some greedy priests to make money off of their need? Seems ridiculous to us, right?
"You know what is equally ridiculous? You and I believing that a little more money is going to make us happy. You and I believing that moving up one more position at work is going to give us value. You and I believing that if we could just get a particular person to love us, we would have security.
Idols, in other words, aren't just found in pagan temples." -- pg. 4
We may not be worshiping trees here, but we are worshiping something. We all are.
What is an idol? Pete defines idolatry like this: "idolatry is when I look to something that does not have God's power to give me what only God has the power and authority to give." It's when we buy into the empty promise that things like career, love, material possessions, even family can give us the significance, security and fulfillment we all crave.
"It's when we feel a God-given appetite and try to fill it with something that isn't God." - pg 5
Do you find yourself playing the "If Only" game? I sure do.....
---If only I owned this, I would feel worthy.
---If only I achieved that, I would feel significant.
---If only I had what they have, i would be content.
---If only I made a little more money, I would finally be satisfied.
---If only I got that promotion, I would feel valued.
---If only I could only get that person to love me, I would have security.
"Sooner or later we discover the heartbreaking truth that no matter how beautiful or rich or powerful we become, it's never enough." - pg 6
I had a big reminder of that truth recently. I was singing some bgv's at a studio when the engineer told me to take a 5 min break so he could fly some things around on the track. I sat down on a little stool in the vocal booth and picked up my phone to check my twitter feed. Immediately I starting seeing the hashtag #RIPWhitneyHouston popping up all over my feed. WH-AT?? Surely this was another one of those internet hoaxes flying around. There's no WAY that Whitney is dead....??? Of course, I quickly found out it was not a hoax and that beautiful woman was gone.
Beautiful... and I mean, drop-dead gorgeous.
Talented...beyond measure. Maybe one of the best singers this planet has ever known.
Wealthy.... more money that she could ever need/use.
Adored... by thousands... no, probably millions.
She had it ALL, right? Did it make her life easy? Absolutely not. -- The media today loves to report on all the celebrity downfalls, and Whitney surely had her share of time in the spotlight in that area. Whitney had all the things we all think we want--- yet she wasn't immune to problems in this world. Those things didn't give her lasting fulfillment and happiness....
Why do WE think that things would be any different for US?
......to be continued.