"I have said to the LORD, 'You are my Lord, my good above all others.'" - Psalm 16:1
It's ironic how much we struggle to believe in God relative to how many gods we actually have.
If I asked what you believe in most profoundly, what you have given your heart to, what would you say? Hope, money, beauty, pleasure, technology, success, the economy, positivity, family, work, peace, progress, security, food, approval, justice?
Whatever is on your list of deepest beliefs, highest aspirations and most important concerns, I believe you have just revealed your gods. Or maybe our god is whatever we most often turn to or look at. For many of us, that would be our smartphone.
"But wait," you may protest. "Those things don't have anything to do with a supreme being up there somewhere."
Whoever said God was a super-dude in the sky? Perhaps God is the supreme Good above and beyond all others, like the psalmist declares. And here's even more astounding awesomeness: God is good enough to love you. Things like money, food, technology, even hope can't do that.
So why not open your heart to something, someone, bigger than all your good (or not so good) gods and embrace a Good who has hopes and dreams for you and for all creation? Why not turn to a wisdom and love surpassing your own?
I have, and it has made all the difference.
God, I have many gods which I may never completely give up in this life. At the very least, help me to see you where you already are: way above and beyond them all.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.