Trading glory for cows

Although this week I am facing a 5-page paper, a self-evaluation, a reflective journal entry, and two law briefs (mostly because I am irresponsible and did not complete these assignments earlier, even though I’ve known about them for quite some time), this evening I felt like I should take 15 minutes to actually eat my dinner at our dining room table (as opposed to in my bed) and read a Psalm (as opposed to re-watching some 30 Rock on Netflix). And y’all, the Lord blessed it.

This semester hasn’t been the best for me and my quiet times. I’ve been struggling to even desire time in the Word. I choose to sleep in or watch TV or hang out with people rather than hang out with my God. And it’s left me feeling dry, shallow, and empty at times. I know it’s not a good place to be in, and I’ve had a few emotional-break-down wake-up calls, but I end up chilling here in this place anyway. I could write a whole blog on that (it would sound something like this), but instead I will choose to celebrate small victories in my relationship with Christ and the revelations He gives me.

Like tonight’s revelation that I am trading in a lot of great stuff for a cow. A cow that sucks.

Ok, let me backtrack. I was reading Psalm 106 this evening, and this is what struck me:

“At Horeb they made a calf
and worshiped and idol cast from metal.
They exchanged their Glory [of God]
for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
They forgot the God who saved them,
who had done great things for them in Egypt.”
-Psalm 106:19-21

Verse 19 is where I want to concentrate. If you’re unfamiliar with this Psalm’s back story, the gist of it is that the Israelites repeatedly turned their back on the Lord after He did wonderful things for them. They would forget those things and turn to false gods and idols, specifically in this Psalm an idol of a golden calf. Which eats grass.

I loved the syntax of that verse. It was like the psalmist really wanted to let you know how ridiculous that exchange was.

They exchanged their Glory for a cow. A cow that eats grass. Freaking grass. LAME.

I found myself thinking, “Yeah, those dumb Israelites! Seriously?!”
Until I thought, “Wait, what am I exchanging my glory for?”
What am I exchanging love and grace and freedom and my relationship with the Father for?

I exchange my Glory for…
… Apathy. Which sucks my joy.
… Stress. Which cripples me in fear.
… Sleep. Which doesn’t satisfy.
… Entertainment. Which leaves me empty.
… Friends. Who fall short.

Dang. I am making some pretty crappy deals here. It was cool because I felt like this revelation really tied into something my friend Michelle (help bring home Baby A!) shared on the prayer mic at church today. Michelle was sharing that the Lord is so, so, so good. But we’re often afraid to give things up in our lives, habits, people, sin patterns, etc., because we feel like God is worse. Or that God will keep making us give up more things and we’ll be worse off. But that’s not true. The Lord is the best thing that could happen to us. He never gives us the short end of the deal. He is good all the time.

So here’s my question: Will you (and I!) keep exchanging our Glory for a cow that eats grass?

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