My comfort idol was taking a beating. With each workout, I was slowly peeling his hands, one finger joint at a time off of absolute control in my life.
Keller says that idols are “anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. [It is] anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.”
This quote hit me like a ton of bricks. It begged me to stop and scour my heart for the answers to these questions. And I was dreading it. I knew the minute I acknowledged these questions, I would be in for some pain, some discipline, some idol crushing.
And I was not wrong. I began the painful process of asking myself these questions…
What are the things that absorb my heart and imagination?
Matthew 6:21 says “wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. For me to figure out where my heart was, I needed to see where I was spending my money. I started thinking through where I spent the majority of money. It didn’t take me long to see that the majority of my money was spent on food, drink, entertainment, and house stuff. I spent shameful amounts of time and money making sure I was completely comfortable at all times.
It forced me to ask the question – if I were to fast from food, drink and entertainment, how much would that effect me? The question alone severely aggravated me. Why would I want to fast from those things? Why would I need to? They are not inherently bad. I didn’t even need to fast from them to know that they were a source of idolatry in my life. The intense emotional response to merely the idea of not getting to eat, drink or do what I wanted when I wanted was enough to prove their hold on me.
Where do I turn when I am in need?
I know that Jesus is my everything. I know that He is my source for truth, for hope, for counsel, for comfort, for sustaining me through whatever comes my way. I know this. I know that He gives better advice than people. I know He is more comfortable than a better than average dinner paired perfectly with hoppy brews. I know that He is my anchor of hope. I know that the faith He increases in me from His word will sustain me through trials.
I know these things.
Yet, the sad truth I was forced to face during this process was that if someone was looking from the outside in, they wouldn’t see me turning to Jesus, they would see me curled up in front an endless parade of TV shows with food and drink all around me. They would see me distracting myself and comforting myself with people and parties. They would see me turning to sub-par gods. They would see me turning to created things for comfort instead of the Creator.
What would undo me if it were lost? What would make me feel as if life were not worth living?
Kyle and I consistently keep a few things on the table for our lives: one being, starting a family. I know my world will be upended the minute we bring a baby into our home. I know my days of comfort will be officially over. Our nights of spontaneous dates are over. Our days of easily traveling are over.
In that moment I realized that just the thought of losing the option of comfort paralyzed me. I was undoubtedly choosing not to start a family or even pray about it because I knew it would cost me my comfort. Making a decision to be perpetually uncomfortable was incredibly daunting.
This final question was the one that pushed me over the edge. I was choosing not to have a family, something I truly longed for, because I hated the idea of being uncomfortable.