Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. (1 Corintians 10:14)
I have been drawn into the cult, and have swallowed a full draught of the Kool-Aid. Multiple times a day, the cult consumes some of my time … some of my attention … some of my adoration. It directs my actions … it bonds me to other members of the cult … it further deepens my loyalty to our idol through challenges like “Workweek Hustle” and “Weekend Warrior” which pit my worship of the idol against other cult members. It seduces me into actions I might otherwise forego by its overt affirmation and coaching and the siren call of success. No, I am not now part of the Manson Family or the Moonies or Scientology … I am part of the Fitbit family. My son gave me one for Christmas.
Can I say how much I love it? As a guy who back in 1977 was hours away from declaring myself a math and business major in the hope of becoming an actuary, I will admit that the stats you can follow about your exercise each day are as much fun as the walking and running and stair climbing themselves that the Fitbit idol feeds upon.
So what’s the problem? None, really. My Fitbit has injected some fun into my struggling exercise regime. But the Doubting Thomas within me wonders if this is real. Will the magic wear thin? Will the stats become boring? Will I drift in time from my loyalty to the cult, as I have with other exercise regimes. And if I am honest with myself, I know that behind these questions is the deeper concern that St. Paul struggled with in his correspondence with the church in Rome, when he confessed,
“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
Do you resonate with St. Paul’s words? In our Crosspoints class this morning, as we discussed the Ten Commandments, we entertained a theme offered in our video presentation, that suggested that all the commandments point back to the first commandment about avoiding idolatry. Every commandment that we break, is at its core an act of idolatry, because those acts of defiance make it clear that we honor our own wishes instead of God’s. Somehow the challenge is to stay connected to what God desires of us. Obviously, I’m not really worried about my Fitbit. God wants us to take care of the “temples” that are our physical bodies. But maybe if I thought more about that biblical truth, instead of my obsession with stats, my new regime might have more staying power. We’ll see ….