SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN
An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments In Terms of Today
from Joy Davidman’s book, Smoke on the Mountain 1954
I worship Ganesa, brother, god of worldly wisdom, patron of shopkeepers. He is in the shape of a little fat man with an elephant's head; he is made of soapstone and has two small rubies for eyes. What shape do you worship?
I worship a Rolls-Royce sports model, brother. All my days I give it offerings of oil and polish. Hours of my time are devoted to its ritual; and it brings me luck in all my undertakings; and it establishes me among my fellows as a success in life. What model is your car, brother?
I worship my house beautiful, sister. Long and loving meditation have I spent on it; the chairs contrast with the rug, the curtains harmonize with woodwork, all of it is perfect and holy. The ash trays are in exactly the right place, and should some blasphemer drop ashes on the floor, I nearly die of shock. I live only for the service of my house, and it rewards me with the envy of my sisters, who must rise up and call me blessed. Lest my children profane the holiness of my house with dirt and noise, I drive them out of doors. What shape is your idol, sister? Is it your house, or your clothes, or perhaps even your worth-while and cultural club?
I worship the pictures I paint, brother.... I worship my job; I'm the best darn publicity expert this side of Hollywood.... I worship my golf game, my bridge game. . . . I worship my comfort; after all, isn't enjoyment the goal of life? ... I worship my church; I want to tell you, the work we've done in missions beats all other denominations in this city, and next year we can afford that new organ, and you won't find a better choir anywhere.... I worship myself....
What shape is your idol?
by Joy Davidman
FOREWORD BY C. S. LEWIS
11. LIGHT OF LIGHT
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