A grass-eating substitute

With paper piled around my feet and an open box on my lap I sit there speechless while Christmas music plays. Speechless as in not sure what to say, ‘Thank you?’

I’m sure we’ve all been there because gift exchanges can be interesting. Many times I’ve ended up with a great gift. Other times the gift has been, well, ‘interesting’ may be the best word. A few past prizes quickly come to mind but wisdom begs me not to share too much in writing.

I try to select good gifts to give. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so the recipient may not always agree. Either way it is a challenge to trade a gift I know is good to get a less than appealing one.

Yet how often do we make that choice in matters much more significant than a $20 gift?

The author of Psalm 106 detailed many ways Israel was unfaithful to the God who not only called them out but also showered them with great love and care. Through the miracles in Egypt and then along their route through the middle of the Red Sea, Israel saw God’s glory in his provisional care and guidance. Yet-

“They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass.” Psalm 106:20

I love that inclusion of that last detail, a grass-eater. It’s like the writer is asking- ‘How dumb could they be? Truly? You traded the all-powerful Creator of this Universe for an animal focused on finding more grass to eat?’

Then my smile fades as the question hits home. How often have I exchanged my Glory, my God, for the temporary pleasures of wealth, relationships, status, or some other selfish pursuit?

Lord, open my eyes to see where I am even now exchanging you for a sorry substitute. Too often, I am deceived by the lies of the devil. Lord, seep my heart and mind in your truth that I won’t fall to any exchange. I want to keep You and your Gory as my main focus. Amen


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