We have these funny “drunken goggles” at my school that the kids can put on to simulate what happens to your vision and balance when someone’s imbibing has reached certain blood alcohol levels. I put them on once and it was pretty impressive actually. (Personally, at this point in my life, my balance is far enough gone that I would be in danger of walking that straight line should I be randomly pulled over, regardless of the fact that I don’t even drink…)
Not only is alcohol (and other drugs) distorting to your senses, it is, of course, also distorting to your judgment. Now, most adults have this one pretty well figured out, but kids? Not so much. So this info in particular is very important to share with them. Once those little molecules start infusing into the bloodstream, they start tapping into several areas that normally are on task to keep the person safe. And the really scary part is—
–that person doesn’t even know it.
Alright, we know that society is forcing that pendulum to swing, but hang on, because this is not a Red Ribbon Week lecture. It does, however, make for a good comparison, one that is based in Old Testament history for modern day application.
The Hebrews were in a serious mess; actually, they were about to be in a serious mess, and God (as usual) was trying to warn them. This time He was using a man named Hosea. (That’s the guy God told to marry a working prostitute to illustrate how unfaithful the Jews had been to Him—and you think my metaphors are up close and personal??) Here’s one of the most chilling statements:
“Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t even know it.”
They don’t even know it! Idolatry, that is, putting anything (or anyone) above loving and sacrificial obedience to God, saps our spiritual strength little by little until we go to pull out that sword and it’s rusted, or the breastplate is cracked.
Of course, in our western 21st century sophistication, we know better than to believe in idols, right?
- Use of “my” time
- Use of “my” money
- “My” reputation
- “My” position (at work, in the church—ouch)
- “My” health
- “My” children
- Here’s an interesting one, friends—“My” blog (!!)
You might wonder how these so readily come to mind…
Obviously, all of these things are “good”! It’s the “my” in front of them that causes the problem. Suffice it to say that our sophistication has merely put a fancy overlay on an already well-used template. God help us to peel away the sheen and grind “my” idols into chalk dust. It’s like taking off those goofy goggles and seeing clearly once again.
I bet my “balance” will improve, too. (Here’s hoping…)
Hos 7: 9 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT