I was raking leaves… (I hate it.) Suddenly a space ship appeared out of nowhere and landed in a field less than fifty yards from our house. Immediately I put down the rake and ran to investigate. (Any excuse to quit raking!) Two creatures stepped out. They looked almost human except for their green, crusty skin. They walked up and introduced themselves as Mort and Mirth from the planet, Morph. “We are on a fact finding tour. Is this a typical earth town?” he asked? (I think it was a he.)
“As typical as Mayberry, RFD!” I answered.
“We are studying religions. What Gods do you worship in this town?” Mirth, the other alien asked.
Like the puffed-up preacher I can occasionally be, I exclaimed, “We worship the One Holy God and His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord who lives in us through the Holy Spirit.”
Mort paused for a moment and said, “Where do you worship God?”
“Why in church buildings like the one across from my house.” I answered, beginning to wonder if these aliens from Morph knew anything about us earthlings at all.
Mirth quickly replied, “We have visited your churches. They are seldom used and often empty. We have concluded very few earthlings actually follow this God you named. After careful observation, we discovered most humans actually worship idols.”
“Idol worship!” I scoffed. “You must be joking. We haven’t practiced that since Old Testament days.”
“Oh but you do worship idols,” exclaimed Mort. “There are idols in every earthling house.”
“Are there any idols in my house?” I asked nervously.
Mirth looked at Mort. They both looked at my house bowed their head and began to moan. After a moment the moans stopped and Mirth turned to me and said, “Yes, we count five.”
Five! How could you see five idols in a Methodist ministers home?” I asked. “Where are they?”
“There is one in the kitchen and another in the den. There is also one in each of your three bedrooms.”
“Do you mean my televisions? Are you kidding? TV’s aren’t idols. They’re earthling entertainment.”
“Oh no,” said Mort. “Earthlings watch the idols hour after hour. You even have a Holy Book.”
He reached inside his bag and pulled out a recent TV Guide. “This Holy Book tells you when to pray before the idol and what you will see. I especially like this worship time called The X Files.”
“One of the characters in the show looks just like my cousin Mymph.” Added Mirth.
“If you think that’s good, you ought to see Third Rock From the Sun.” I said. “Wait a minute, you can’t seriously believe that TV is our idol just because we spend three hours a day watching it?”
“What else do you earthlings spend three to four hours a day doing beside working?” Mort replied.
I couldn’t answer him. Can you? God says, “Do not worship any other gods besides me. Do not make idols of any kind…” (Exodus 20:3-4) Television can be a useful informational tool and occasional source of entertainment but too much TV robs you of precious hours that are better spent improving a friendship, spending time with your family or with God. Choose wisely and occasionally turn off the TV. Now if Mort and Mirth would only tell me to stop raking leaves.