Reflections on Idolatry

Below are some reflections while on my trip in Sudan:

May 19
Being here in Africa (South Sudan) is incredible. I taught today in the Bible School. The students ranged in age from 18 to 45 & they were so hungry for the word of God. As I began to teach through the book of Daniel, I was stunned by the easy application of the text to the lives of the students. They’ve experienced war and exile. They deal with traditional tribal beliefs in spirits and the seeming need to appease them everyday. However, the idols in the West are scarcely recognizable and people tend to not be open to spiritual realities. Any of our ‘religious’ activity is usually more a philosophy of how like works than it is a real encounter with spiritual realities. Even as Christians, in the West, we can be very resistant to real, spiritual power … I observe that often we just see God as a means to an end rather than a real person with whom we must wrestle and grapple, etc

Everyting is spiritual … there are no “nice, neat” divisions between physical and emotional and spiritual. It is all intertwined and interconnected … oh Father, I long to know that and live that reality.

Tuesday May 20, 11.30pm (I wrote the following note to my wife)
Jenifer, I have been overwhelmed with the ways in which so many of the every day things of our lives anesthetize us from feeling. Without even knowing, things like TV allow me to go to sleep without feeling joys or pain. I’ve felt a longing for you that I might not have felt if I had the ability to tune out. The Africans are so hungry for the word of God. The Bible students barely have one Bible and if they have any other materials, they carry them everywhere. I want to eliminate things that dull my senses – things that dull my appetite for God. I know that I have an apetite for Him but it is often dulled. I know that I have an apetite/a desire for intimacy with you but it is often dulled as well in everyday life in America.

In my desire to understand the idols in my life … one of my first conclusion is that technology is an idol that I worship because it “rescues” me/saves me from feeling the harshness of life. More on these thoughts in a coming post – but I’m becoming keenly aware that part of interacting with God is honestly experiencing the pains of life.

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~ by Ted Wueste on May 30, 2008.

One Response to “Reflections on Idolatry”

  1. I get it so much more now – it DULLs me! It’s not just a tool nor is it ‘simply’ a distraction. It is an anesthetic. My lack of technology (like you, traveling abroad) left me more sensitive than I expected. I didn’t quite get why I am so tired until I read this.

    Thank you, my brother!

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