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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 8:43 pm | Fair 53º


Jim Langley: How ‘Build a Hash’ Is a Metaphor for Us

One of my favorite breakfast meeting places in Santa Barbara is located on Lower State Street near Highway 101.

Dawn Patrol is best known for its “Build a Hash” breakfast selections. My selection usually starts with sweet potatoes, salmon, spinach, diced tomatoes, corn, pepper jack cheese, topped off with two eggs over medium and smothered in Hollandaise sauce. A year ago, I didn’t know such choices even existed for breakfast!

Frankly, I like having all those choices to build my breakfast with ingredients that match my taste buds.

For me this has been quite a happening. While eating there with several friends the other day, we were discussing how this “Build a Hash” phenomena is nothing new at all. Apparently, mankind has always been concocting and creating things to match their likings.

We’ve been endowed by our Heavenly Father with His gift of creating and designing to make this world a bit better and a more functional place to live. It seems we’re always attempting to build a better proverbial mousetrap.

I mentioned to my friends that this creative approach to building our own special breakfast meal reminded me of the numerous attempts found in the Old Testament in which tribes would often create their own gods. In fact, even the Israelites fell for this trap in the Sinai Desert.

What is it that makes man want to create his own version of God?

Apparently, most people aren’t happy with having an unseen Father in Heaven. They also seem to dislike Him bringing down rules that they would rather not follow. So, there appears to be a natural tendency to want to create our own god who we can follow as we wish without cramping our lifestyles.

After all, if we create a god to worship that we’ve designed to our liking, we can easily go on living as we want without fearing any retribution from our man-made mirage. We simply need to imagine this image of what we want to believe is real even though it’s our own little creation. Many children create imaginary friends to help them cope with difficult life issues, and I guess we can easily fall into a similar façade.

In Psalm 115:1-8, the Psalmist reminds us of God’s glory and man’s frailty — “Not to us O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in Heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes but they cannot see; they have ears but cannot hear, noses but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”

What a sad state of affairs.

Frankly, I want to serve a God Who is significant. I want to serve a God Whom I can trust. I want to serve a God Who is real.

Imaginary gods are useless and serve no real purpose at all. Why would you want to serve a false idol? Yet that’s exactly what many people do.

In the final chapter of Joshua, this great leader of the Israelites near the end of his life instructed his people in verse 14: “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all your faithfulness. Throw away the gods of your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.”

He meant to physically throw away those graven images many continued to worship in secret!

In Joshua 24:15, he continues, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

The choice remains, folks. Whom will you serve?

For me and my family, we choose to serve the Lord!

Passages to Ponder

» Isaiah 46:4-9

» Jeremiah 16:10-13

» Hosea 11:1-4

» Galatians 5:19-21

» Colossians 3:5-6

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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