03 October 2010

"My Precious"

Gollum's "My Precious"
from the movie of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

What is precious to you?
Most precious?
What would you name, "My Precious"?

From Timothy Keller's Counterfeit Gods:

The Ring is what Professor Tom Shippey calls "a psychic amplifier,"
which takes the heart's fondest desires
and magnifies them to idolatrous proportions.

Some good characters in the book want to
liberate slaves,
or preserve their people's land,
or visit wrong-doers with just punishment.

These are all good objectives.
But the Ring makes them willing to do anything
to achieve them,
anything at all.

It turns the good thing
into an absolute
that overturns every other allegiance or value.
What is an idol? It is anything more important to you
than God,
anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more
than God,
anything you seek to give you
what only God can give.

A counterfeit god is anything so central
and essential
to your life that,
should you lose it,
your life would feel hardly worth living.
An idol is whatever you look at and say,
in your heart of hearts,

"If I have that,
than I'll feel my life has meaning,
then I'll know I have value,
then I'll feel significant
and secure."
If anything becomes more fundamental than God to your happiness,
meaning in life,
and identity,
then it is an idol.
All good things can
and do
take on disproportionate size and power within a society.
They promise us
and happiness
if only we base our lives on them.

Fix our eyes, Lord Christ, upon You. Wrench our gaze from any lesser thing.

Let our love and allegiance admit no impediments.

For love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark

~ from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116

May it be so in us, by Your grace, Amen.

1 comment:

Annesta said...

As always, your words hit a chord and ring truth that is necessary to hear.
Thank you, dear sister in Christ.