Nobody who knows a cow would follow a cow. A cow will lead you…to a field of tasty grass. A milk cow will lead you to the barn when she wants to be milked. A cow is not a noble, authoritative, or particularly smart creature*.
So, when I read in the book of Exodus that the newly freed children of Israel make and worship a golden calf because they are an impatient, unfaithful people, I start to wonder. I wonder a couple of things, really. The first thing I wonder is if the conversation between Aaron and the metal-smith went a little something like this (keeping the nature of cows in mind, now):
Aaron: “Moses has been gone for a long time. The people demand a god to worship. Can you make me a hulking, handsome gold humanoid figure that I can tell them is their god?”
Smith: “I’m really not that good at human figures, Aaron. Not much of a call for them these days, you know. The Egyptians worship animals.”
Aaron: “Animals, huh. OK, can you make me a fierce lion figure? They’re the king of the jungle, you know!”
Smith: “Lions…nope I don’t do a very good lion, either. We don’t see too many around these parts”
Aaron: “No humanoids, no lions, what can you make for the people to worship?”
Smith: “Well…I’m really good at cows!”
Aaron: “Cows! You want me to tell the people that our god is a golden cow!?”
Smith: “Uhh, actually I’m better at making a calf…”
And the rest, unfortunately, is history.
The second thing I wonder is not so humorous (and probably not so blasphemous). I wonder what kind of little, stupid really, things I’m setting up as idols in my life. I say stupid because in actuality, no matter what or who it is, holding it in a position higher than my relationship with Jesus is stupid. Everything in this world will pass away. When I get to heaven, I will wonder why these things ever meant so much to me at all. I have a feeling that in the presence of our Savior all things will pale. Everything will fade into secondary status. I will wonder “why didn’t I envelope my entire life with Him sooner? I could have lived a life reflective of this while on Earth, too!” The things I hold now will seem so small and yes, probably, so stupid.
I challenge you, and myself, to spend more time with Jesus today than you did yesterday (regardless of what day you read this, or how many different days you might read this). Spend more time talking to him, sharing your feelings, basking in his presence.
And also, while you are, don’t forget to listen as well.
* I know there are some who would disagree with me, but in general in the animal kingdom, your cow friend is not Einstein. Sorry to break the news.