Recently I was reminded of the pet rock craziness that swept into stores in the late 70’s.
Quoting from this Wikipdeia.org article:
“In April 1975, Gary Dahl was in a bar (which is now Beauregard Vineyards Tasting room in Bonny Doon) listening to his friends complain about their pets. This gave Dahl the idea for the perfect “pet”: a rock. A rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed, or groomed; and would not die, become sick, or be disobedient. Dahl said they were to be the perfect pets, and joked about it with his friends.”
It occurs to me that Elsie requires a ton of care, but that I love giving it to her. Because she loves getting attention from me. It’s peaceful.
God enjoys caring for me too. Because he’s real, has been on earth with us and died in pain on the cross (beaten mocked and scorned.) He knows how ugly things can get for us. In his caring for me, I have a grounded relationship with Him through that grace and it fills me with gratitude and peace.
My pet is no rock. And neither is my God. Idols whether of stone or wood — or those I’m tempted to pursue like wealth, power and fame — are just as dead a rock. Dead things are dangerous. No matter how much that dead rat is in the street attracts my dog — all that traffic puts her life in danger for being out there.
No matter how cute, funny or weird…. no matter how much I try to coax something out of my idols that can help me in a time of need… an idol / rock is dead. Rotten, stinking, dead. Idols are unresponsive, because they are unaware. There is no possibility that a rock can care about my health, or worry about my risky behaviors.
God is alive, aware and he cares. Just like Elsie, He cares for me and watches out for me like I do her. Thank God! He’s there, for real. And not dead like a rock.
Is there anything more absurd than having a pet rock, or an idol for a god? It may be funny to analogize a rock as a pet, but it’s deadly serious to have dead things as gods.