Idols of Misdirection

I’m watching the sun rise over California through an airplane window this morning.  I am on my way back home again.  I don’t know why but there are random moments such as these when I really do understand with clarity the absolute goodness of God.  I have struggled lately in a much longer story with feeling a certain separation from the real source of all that is good in my life, but today it is very clear to me. I have been given a life of such richness on so many levels.  The irony is, the abundance of life in the form of so many gifts of relationship, and occupation, and love…that very abundance has of late become the source of this subtle distance and, in turn, a seeping emptiness.  I am astounded how gifts of such goodness can, with constant and time, become idols of misdirection.  Lord Jesus, I thank you this morning for my wife – for her clarity and resolve, her directness and compassion, her unwavering commitment to be who she really is, even as you are changing her heart so much of late, for how much I miss her when we’re apart, for how deeply you have allowed me to fall in love with her.  But I thank you especially this morning that you are reminding me that she is not my Savior.  She is not my lifeline.  She is not you.  I thank you also for my two boys…for their purity and curiosity, for their honesty and tears, for the overwhelming sense of security and fullness and drama they magically seem to fill our home to overflowing with, and the fact that they have no idea how beautifully they have wrecked the hearts of their mother and I.  But I thank you especially that they are not my Savior.  They are not my lifeline.  They are not you.  I thank you Jesus for this improbable career of writing songs and travelling the world to deliver them to eager listeners with hearts wide open.  I thank you Father that you have built a community of believers so vast and rich that just last night I could sit at a table with a group of relative strangers – new friends – and share food that had never before crossed my lips and conversation full of laughter and goodness and quality and depth.  From all angles, in distant and familiar places I have had life placed before me that is good and true.  And none of it is my Savior.  None of it is my lifeline.  None of it is you.

Forgive me for my tending toward replacing the source of good things with the good things themselves.  What a selfish game to play, to put that on the narrow shoulders of the people and things that I love.  To put my joy, my rise and my fall, my very salvation – on the backs of the unequipped.  To bind them so carelessly to a weight that they could never carry, to a weight that they were never meant to carry.

Father, this morning I am reminded of my complete and singular identity as a child of God.  I am nothing more and I am nothing less.  I am neither husband nor father, brother nor friend, living soul nor beating heart but for the grace and the goodness of you.  Life lived and taken, love given and received, only at the hands of the goodness of God.

We are flying over the desert now.  I am on my way back home again.

16 Responses

  • Tweets that mention Idols of Misdirection | Bebo Norman -- wrote on September 2, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sara Fachetti, Barbara Bumpalump and Josh Collins, Bebo Norman. Bebo Norman said: new blog posted today - Idols of Misdirection - [...]

  • Chrissy wrote on September 2, 2010

    Thanks, Bebo - such eloquence of words with so much simplicity but oh so meaningful!!!

  • Terry Gardezy wrote on September 2, 2010

    Wow, Bebo, what a great reminder to all of us. You know we started studying Daniel last nite, thru Beth Moore's study, and the theme of her study is we must be in the world (Babylon) but we are to influence the world, not to have the world influence us. You are driving the same point home but in a slightly different way. It must be something I needed to hear. God Bless you and your ministry, and your sweet, sweet family!!

  • mike damery wrote on September 2, 2010

    every day is a day we must carrie the vision of gods will into our affairs

  • M. M. wrote on September 2, 2010

    As always, thank you for your eloquent honesty, Bebo. It is a rare, rare gift.

  • brenda wrote on September 2, 2010

    Wow! That sounds so much like a message I heard on youtube by a guy named David it is if you're interested. Thanks so much for the post!!

  • Jane Belcourt wrote on September 2, 2010

    I loved the concert you were at and how you were so yourself. I appreciate how you shared a bit of your testimony in the simplest way. You said that you were the most ordinary person there is. You have such a humble heart before God and your brothers and sisters.

  • Deb wrote on September 2, 2010

    Bebo...You don't know me. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, a friend, and a family member...but how much I needed to hear your words of inspiration. Your words on your blog was what I needed today. So I thought I'd share that His power touched me through your words. All this "technology" is quite new to me, but I find when one click leads to the end, I find the world of the Lord waiting for me to read and learn. On a day like today (teaching can be difficult at times), I needed to hear the word of the Lord....thank you for allowing me to remember his grace.

  • Kathy Schwanke wrote on September 2, 2010

    Awesome! I agree with M & M above ..."eloquent"

  • Emmalee Whitaker wrote on September 3, 2010

    I cried. Piercing. You got me. It is easy to drown in your blessings. I know. Keep on keeping on.

  • Lori wrote on September 3, 2010

    Your transparency and joy in Christ and all He has given you touched my soul. Blessing upon blessing to you and your family.

  • James wrote on September 4, 2010

    I was kinda sad you hadn't posted in so many months, but actually I'm glad you post only when you have something honest to say... that is, you don't post just for the sake of posting or talk for the sake of talking. Thanks for that. God bless you and may he keep your forever genuine. James

  • KristineMac wrote on September 7, 2010

    You have a gift for words spoken and sung. You have captured so eloquently the reality of what each one of us often forget...our only Savior, our only lifeline is God.

  • andrew wrote on September 12, 2010

    'the way we mend' is inscribed inside our wedding was our song.My wife went to be the Lord a few months after we got married.(last year).I just want to say thank you,fir allowing God to use you. His words through your ministry has been my life song in this tough season. Again I thank you in Jesus name.

  • Hitchhiking with singer/songwriter Bebo Norman | Backseat Writer wrote on September 21, 2010

    [...] A lot of what I was writing about in that blog post (“Idols of Misdirection”) is probably what I would ask people to pray for me right now, and that is being thankful for [...]

  • friv 7 wrote on June 27, 2014

    sunrise in California, on a flight that is not always the feeling that we can admire and meet.

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