new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

Watch out for Tin-pot gods

And…breathe! Like just about every reader, I’m relieved that the weekend is over. No more late night screeching caused by rubber on road. No more rickety exhausts with their noxious fumes and obnoxious rackets. No more boy racers putting their lives and others’ lives on the line.

There has been no shortage of comment on the scenes in Letterkenny over the weekend. The shameful anti-social behaviour, the reckless antics on the road and the mountains of rubbish left for others to clear up all paint an appalling picture. Sadly it’s not the first time and it is unlikely to be the last.

So how should we view those who came to our county, had a good time, then left their mess behind? Let me suggest two perspectives: pity and soul-searching.

Firstly, we should feel pity. Many of those I have spoken with are angry at what they’ve witnessed and rightly so. Yet there is a temptation to dehumanise those who behaved in this way. The fact is, these (mostly young) people are men and women created in the image of God. Like every single one of us, they have been designed for meaning and satisfaction and they are looking for true happiness where they think they are most likely to find it.

Yet they’re looking in the wrong place. They are looking to tin-pot gods; to rust buckets on wheels. That should make us weep. They won’t find what they’re looking for on TikTok. They won’t find it in their big weekend out. They certainly won’t find it in their noisy exhausts or their reckless speed - if anything they are more likely to lose it all. We should feel pity at such misdirection.

Yet, we shouldn’t stop there. We could rant and rave about the state of the current generation or we could shower them with condescending pity, but both approaches say more about us than about anyone else. Rather, the events of last weekend ought to prompt some major soul-searching.

On the surface, many readers are far removed from those who inflicted themselves on Letterkenny last weekend. Yet, ultimately, we’re all looking for the same thing. Each and every one of us is looking for satisfaction where we most expect to find it. The end result for some is a pristine home; for others it is a litter strewn street. Some pour their cash into rusty old cars; others pour it into their children’s college fund. Yes, some people’s gods are more respectable than others, but they will end up disappointing every bit as much.

That’s something the one true God warns us about in his word. In Psalm 115, the writer ridicules the false gods of his day. They have mouths but cannot speak and ears but cannot smell. They have hands but cannot feel and feet but cannot walk. Then the warning: “those who make them will be like them.”

Whether we were in the thick of it last weekend or merely tutting from afar, we need to watch out for tin-pot gods.