“You can’t see me!”
Lately I have found myself playing peek-a-boo with life. My schedule gets a little too hectic or work requires a little too much brain-power and I find myself wanting to escape for a while. I figuratively put my hands over my eyes, or more likely, pull the covers over my head, and pretend no one can see me.
We all have moments that we would like to make reality disappear, don’t we? Some turn to various substances to take their mind off their pressures. Me? I turn to stories. A good book. A captivating television program.
While I believe everyone needs to unplug and relax at times, these escapes can become unhealthy idols in our lives. I was reminded of this last night during the Infusion Bible study digging into the life of Gideon. Despite his fears and reluctance, Gideon drags himself out of hiding to confront the Midianites. This is no small accomplishment. Gideon was able to defeat the enemy that had been plaguing his country for decades through the power and leadership abilities that God had given him. Yet somewhere along the line, Gideon started to believe his own press and he got distracted. Instead of clinging closely to God, he disconnected from Him. He started hiding from Him. He began to operate on auto-pilot.
Well, for a time Israel was granted the reprieve they were looking for. They had forty years of peace under Gideon’s leadership. But Judges 8:33 tells us that just as soon as Gideon died, Israel returned to following Baal. The terminology is such that it makes me think they went straight from the funeral to the closets where their idols had been in storage. They never personalized their relationship with God. They were outwardly successful in riding the spiritual coattails of their leader for a time, but as soon as that link was broken, Israel went to what they knew. They escaped to their idols.
Israel’s go-to escape in trying times was Baal, the god of the sun that promised to provide for their needs. I wonder what your escape idol is? Ice cream? TV? Shopping? What do you turn to when you should be turning to Jesus? You go through the motions of church and even Bible reading, but in truth you are relying more on your escape time than your quiet time to get through the day. If this is you, you may need to revisit your grove and tear down the high places that have crept back into your heart.
I challenge you to consider how you have been spending your down time this past month. Do you see a pattern of simple rest, or have you developed a reliance on something other than the Lord? Set aside time today to commit this new month with fresh eyes focused on the Savior.