In Tolkien’s masterpiece ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the fate of the whole world revolves around one small gold ring. If Frodo can destroy it, the world has a future. If he fails, the whole world will perish. Sounds like a great plot doesn’t it. And it is. But does it ring true? I mean, surely there are things far worse than what becomes of a small gold ring. And of course there are.
But Tolkien does get to the heart of the problem. What lies behind every sin – murder, adultery, even war, is one thing. The Bible calls it idolatry. Idolatry is craving, wanting, enjoying, being satisfied by anything that you treasure more than God. Even a small gold ring.
The truth is we are all idol worshippers.
Whether it’s gold, or our new car, our kids, our husband, our wife, our comfort, our health. If we put something or someone before God it has become our idol. The solution seems simple enough – don’t do it. Like Frodo, if we can destroy the ring and put an end to the craving we will be free. The problem is we can’t. None of us can. It’s in our nature. It’s a part of our DNA. And so what’s the answer? If we want to put an end to it but we can’t, where does our hope lie? The answer, believe it or not, is trust.
We can’t ever succeed in putting God first in our life. Not completely. Not even nearly. Jesus is the only one who did. And He says that when we trust in Him He’ll make us right. He’ll bring about the change we long for, and desperately need. He’ll even forgive us when we revert to self and crave what we shouldn’t. Jesus does what we cannot. Surely that’s worth celebrating.