>Last night at church, we were discussing how easy it is to make idols in our hearts. God is jealous of this, and the faster you can clense yourself of them, the better. I have been pondering to myself over the past couple weeks about if I have any idols. Funny how you always hear the sermon being directed at you. In the midst of my tears from the Spirit moving thru the church, I had a revelation.
Ciggarettes are my idols. They are the only thing that stands between me, and my thoughts of God. I don’t bow down to worship them..but I do wish that some things would hurry up and end so I can smoke. Now, I haven’t felt that way towards the sermons, but I have caught my mind wandering a few times while in church towards that next drag.
It was the end of the service, and I was singing, and crying, and that knot in my heart was there. I knew that this was my problem, and I prayed for God to help me. When we got back in the car..there they were. I tried not to look at them, but Seth lit one for himself, and then handed me mine. Being the feeble minded person I am, I took it, and hated myself the whole time I smoked it. I was thinking in my head, ‘God, why am I having so much trouble with this? Please help me! Show me why I cannot stop!’
I belive that the Lord works in mysterious ways.
Have you ever just started talking to a random passerby? I had just finished my lunch, and I went outside to smoke. There was a man sitting on the side walk eating pizza from our neighboring Little Ceasars. I lit my ciggarette, and studied the man. He was sitting next to a bike (assumed it was his), and minding his own business. I noticed that he had on old blue jeans, with paint splatters.
I asked him if he was working today. He said, “No, I used to work, but now I am retired. I had a heart attack a few years ago, and now I just do what the doctor says. I’ve been working in the yard, and these are the best clothes for that.”
Then I asked him if he went to church. He said, “Well, I used to go to this Baptist church in Pasadena, but the congregation fell apart when some of the members tried to take over the church…to many politics.” I innvited him to come to our church. He was interested. We kept talking about it, and then about kids and grandkids…marrige, and how silly life is. When I was finished smoking, I went back inside and got a little card that I had picked up from Wednesday night Bible Study that gives directions to the church. He said, “Thanks, I hope to see you there.” His name is Buddy Smith.
Is the reason for my addiction this one encounter? I believe that it could be. Buddy is not the only person I have talked to about church while dealing with ciggarettes. Just this morning, before work, I was talking to the guy at CVS who always sells me my ciggarettes. He quit smoking some time back, and has been dealing with lots of stress at home. I presented him with one of those cards, and he gladly took it, and said, “Yeah, I’ll be looking for you.”
Why do things happen? I wrote a short memoire after Ethan was born about how everything happens for a reason. Even in those God-less days, I was right on the money. Imagine how much better my life could have been if I had been walking with Jesus. You can’t go back, but you can be thankful for the decisions that have led you to where you are now, and where you will be going. Perhaps my days of smoking have just been leading up to this time. Maybe now I can finally kick the habit, but don’t get your hopes up…