The Security Blanket

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Linus van Pelt.  He is the best friend of Charlie Brown from the famous comic strip Peanuts. Linus is known to many of us for having a security blanket in tow anywhere and everywhere he goes.

My son has his security “blankie.”  Not one.  Six!   It started with just one – that one precious blanket that he refused to wash or be away from, which I somehow left in a vacation house out of town.  Not expecting to get it back, I got him a new one, and his grandma got him four (yep!).  So when the owners of that vacation house called to say they found my son’s blanket and would send it back, that made a total of six.

Much as I try, I can’t recall ever getting attached to any particular object as a child or even growing up.  What is the mystery behind such attachments?

Experts who have studied such behavior discovered that such “transitional objects” help individuals cope with change while clinging on to something familiar.    In my son’s case, he developed the dependence on the blanket when I started going back to work and he had to stay home.

It does make sense.  But when and how does it end?

While I try to understand my son and give him the space and time he needs, (after all, aren’t we all on the same boat?  At one point in our lives, we found that one thing or person that we latch on to like a barnacle); and while I am trying not to over-spiritualize this concern,  it is also my duty to give him a reality and spirtual check.

For the rest of us, whether we admit it our not, we also have our own  transitional object.  It could be an actual object we’ve been attached to since childhood.  It could be habits we developed.  It could be material possessions.  It could be careers that we’ve so passionately been building and working for all our lives.  It could be that best friend or spouse that occupied most of our hearts.  It could even be ourselves.

Looking at it that way, I did have my own share of “blankies.”

The bible calls it our idols.    An idol is anything or anyone that can satisfy our longings.  It is anything or anyone that consumes our emotions, time, mind, devotion and being.  It is anything or anyone that we run and cling on to make us feel better.  It is anything or anything that is not God.

Such idols need to be removed from our lives only by the grace and mercy of God.  Through prayer and constant feeding of the Word, God will slowly and surely reveal to us the idols in our lives and provide the strength to remove them.

Reference:  The Herald Tribune

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