As in, Psalm 106…
“They traded the Glory for a cheap piece of sculpture—a grass-chewing bull! They forgot God, their very own Savior, who turned things around in Egypt…”
Psalms 106:20-21 (MSG)
“They worshiped their idols, were caught in the trap of idols. They sacrificed their sons and daughters at the altars of demon gods.”
Psalms 106:36-37 (MSG)
I am ridiculously short-sighted.
Not nearsighted – ok, a little in my right eye, but mostly astigmatism is how I roll – but definitely short-sighted.
I can’t seem to keep the bigger picture, the long view, in sight. I almost always choose the smaller, the immediate, the “right here in front of me, right now,” instead of choosing those things that don’t make me feel all fuzzy and happy right now, but have great rewards in the near, distant, or way-the-heck-out-there future.
Dave Ramsey says that being an adult is having the ability to delay gratification toward a long-term goal.
Anybody who knows me knows that I are a child. Totally.
I’m getting better, especially here in Life 2.0. I’m learning that the long-term is so much better than the “now,” making for a more joyful life and reducing the amount of whining about the widgets, doo-dads, and other crapola that I’ve surrounded myself with over the years.
So yeah, I have no finger to point at those who threw over the glory of God for some dumb cow statue. The ones who denied the power of God that brought them out of Egypt and through the sea, and instead set their eyes on the golden widget, doo-dad, thingie that was right in front of them.
How much wonder have I thrown over at the altar (cash register) of a big ol’ electronics store, craft store, music store, or *insert name of your favorite consumer house of worship here,* totally forgetting the glory of the One who wants to lead me onward to a greater goal, a deeper walk with Him?
How many widgets, doo-dads, thingies, or crapola have I allowed to blind my eyes, to eclipse the glory?
Really, it’s not just stuff that can blind us, making us trade the glory for some dumb cow… It can be relationships, media, or desires for what others seem to have that we don’t – anything can become cow fodder, if it comes between us and the glory of God.
(Cow fodder, not cow exhaust, just to be clear. Two different ends, two different sets of problems.
What is there in your life that can cause a total eclipse of the glory?
(“Turn around, bright eyes…”)
(What? You didn’t get that? You are dead to me, and to tons of ’80s music video fans. Look up “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler. Absolutely weird and cheesy video that was cool and captivating back in the decade where MTV stood for MUSIC tv, instead of “angst, reality-not!, and programming via shock value.” I miss the 80’s…
Note the way Eugene Peterson puts it in the Message: “They traded the Glory for a cheap piece of sculpture…”
Traded. Not neglected, ignored, forgot about like a bunch of dumb sheep, or had a brain fart of epic proportions – but TRADED.
As in, willingly exchanging one thing for another.
Kind of like when the kid next to you offers to trade their sandwich for your cupcake, and only after the deal is done and they’ve already swallowed the cupcake whole, do you discover that you now have a pickle loaf sandwich. WithOUT catsup.
Pickle loaf – not offensive necessarily, but compared to a cupcake? Fuhgeddaboutit.
On the other hand, pickle loaf rolled around a baby dill pickle with cream cheese? Mmmm. Ok – I’ve only had this as ham wrapped around a pickle with cream cheese, but I’m guessing pickle loaf would only enhance the picklessence of the dish.
Dang – I’ve really got to remember not to write when I’m hungry. In other words, every three hours.
It’s fun being me.
So, it’s kind of like “They willfully, knowing exactly what they were about, exchanged the Glory of God for a piece of cheap sculpture.”
It’s like me trading a Lake Huron sunrise for a garden gnome. *shudder* They’re cute, but the beauty of the sunrise over Lake Huron is some deep dish beauty right there.
And a garden gnome is NOT a gift that keeps on giving. Nope. Not even a little.
So, saddlepals – look around. Got any doo-dads, widgets, thingies, media, diversions, or crapola that has eclipsed the Glory? I know I do.
It’s never too late to de-clutter. And just like the sunrise hiding behind the clouds, God is there, patiently waiting for us to put down the distractions…
And turn around. (“Bright eyes… Turn around, briiiiiiiiight eyyyyyyyyyyyyes.”
The 80’s. Miss them I do. A little.)