Have you ever noticed that there are way too many kinds of cereal? I was walking down the cereal aisle as that very thought entered my mind. As I am looking past all of the boxes of sugar encrusted corn starch, I hear a familiar sound: a child not getting his way. There is a specific pitch the whine of a young child has that drives me insane. A little boy is apparently in severe need of Cookie Crisp, and his mother decides it’s not an appropriate choice for him. I soon decide cereal is no longer an important necessity, and as I vacate the aisle to regain my sanity I see the battle continuing to wage.
The temper tantrum that ensues when someone doesn’t get their way is not limited to the young, or to the cereal aisle. I see it all the time amongst those who don’t feel life is going the way it should, and more often than not, I find myself doing the same. When bills no longer are able to be paid, when I don’t get the job I deserve, or even when tragedy strikes, I throw a fit. Not because I don’t trust Jesus, but because He isn’t making my life the way I feel it needs to be. Like a kid in the cereal aisle, when I don’t get what I want I get mad at God. I live my life correctly, I do all the right things, and none of the wrong, and still my life isn’t going the way it should. I make promises to myself on God’s behalf thinking God will honor them as long as I live the good Christian life. So when my life falls apart, I get mad at God for not holding up His end of a promise He never made!
And with this attitude, I am an idolater.
I take the one thing I am supposed to value above all else, and instead of doing such I use it to further my selfishness.
For many of us, Jesus has turned into nothing more than a way to get what we want out of life. If our marriage isn’t what we think it should be, then we come running to Him. When we don’t have the money to pay our bills and have nowhere else to run, we fall on our knees and cry out to Him. When a loved one suddenly dies we, amidst tears, cry out for answers. All of these situations are the perfect time to chase after Christ and seek comfort and answers in Him, but it seems to only be during these situations we do such. We should pray for comfort in such times and we should indeed be confident Christ can and will carry us through; but what if it doesn’t play out how we want it to? So often we turn to Him only when there is something we cannot get or do ourselves, and He quickly falls out of mind when we feel we have life under control.
Jesus is supposed to be:“… Like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matt 13:44
Christ is supposed to be someone that we value, someone we cherish, not an item to be wielded as a fix-all. He is turned into a “break glass in case of emergency” and fails to hold our attention when life goes well. We will never value something that we only turn to as a whining child pleas with his mother for his favorite cereal. If satisfaction in Christ is not something we long for everyday, then He will never be more than a Santa Claus who when we sit on His lap we make our requests known, and come Christmas morning we are pissed that the gifts are all wrong.
We have trained people to treat Jesus as a means to an end and when we don’t get out of Him what we want, we throw him away. To me, this sounds a lot more like a genie in a bottle than a savior, than a God. Is this something valued? Is this a Jesus that we treasure? Or is this something we simply drop our wish list in front of and only give further thought to when He doesn’t meet our demands?