Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)
TITLE: Feeding on Ashes
By Lisa Beaman
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The kids were getting older, their activities and athletic involvements had increased rapidly. Life had turned into a whirlwind of carpools, games, meeting and events.
“So, when are we going to get away for that camping trip?” Charlie asked his wife.
“I have no idea!” Sarah shook her head as she looked over the calendar. “I just don’t see when we can get away!”
“What about next weekend?”
“No. That won’t work. Ann has a soccer game, Billy has a baseball game and I’m supposed to bake cookies for my club fundraiser.”
Charlie rolled his eyes and asked, “What about the next weekend?”
“No. That won’t work either. Ann is on the school dance committee and she has to be there. Besides, we volunteered to chaperone.”
“We did?” he groaned.
“Yes. We did. We want to show our support and be involved in the kid’s lives, remember?”
“Ok, fine. What about this weekend?” Charlie pointed to a blank spot on the calendar several weeks away and said, “There’s no way we are booked up on this weekend!”
“Well,” Sarah answered, “If Billy’s team gets in the championship tournament, then he’ll probably have a game that afternoon and Ann’s soccer games will still be going on, but they are always in the mornings.”
“Perfect!” Charlie exclaimed. “We’ll pack up the van before Ann’s game and take off for the campsite after Billy’s! We’ll have time for a quick hike before it gets dark and roast hot dogs for dinner on the fire and then we can spend all day Sunday relaxing at the lake…”
“But Charlie,” Sarah interrupted, “What about church?”
“Oh, come on, it’s just one Sunday! Besides we need some time together. No one will miss us. Something’s got to go!”
Something did indeed need to go. This family really didn’t think it mattered to choose their worldly activities over worship for just one Sunday. Yet this one seemingly insignificant decision became easier and easier to make until they didn’t attend church any more at all.
This family feeds on ashes, deluded hearts mislead them; they cannot save themselves or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?” (Isaiah 44:20)
The choices we make are extremely important. Our choices will testify where our favor lies. We might say that we always put the Lord first, but our lifestyle often indicates otherwise.
God has told us not to make for ourselves “an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath”. (Exodus 20:4) When we choose worldly things over God, then we are in fact creating an idol. We should be careful not to show favoritism toward the created over the Creator as God is “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation”. (Exodus 20:5)
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