During the wee hours of the morning yesterday, I was prodded gently awake by an eruption of dog-barking. Why two bone-headed dogs decide to pick 6:03am to begin greeting the morning, I don't know. But I do know I was tempted to take them on a "road-trip" after that...ya know, the kind of road trip where you throw a chew toy, yell "fetch", and then drive away. But I didn't.
Anyway. Not the point. So I'm up way early on a Sunday morning, unable to fall back asleep. I crack open my bible to the Psalms and I read this:
"They have exchanged My glory for the image of an ox that eats grass..."Believe it or not, that little sentence throbbed in my brain like a thumb that had just been smashed with a hammer. God was talking about the Israelites making cast-iron fake idols to worship. To the Israelites, these statues were beautiful, glistening images of something praise-worthy. I'm sure the graven ox statues were sculpted in a way that exaggerated its muscles, symbolizing strength. I'm sure it looked pretty beastly with an appearance that caught the eye.
But in God's eye-vision the idols are exposed for what they really are, "an image of an ox that eats grass". Oh, and then you put the first part of that sentence in there..."They exchanged My GLORY..."
With my imagination (which I actually pray on a regular basis that God will expand, so I can see Scripture when I read it) I just pictured the Israelites, who'd been led through the Red Sea and had seen wonders performed by God's own hand, standing in a single-file line and one by one handing over the glorious sonship with God and taking a statue of a cow instead.
Then, the life-application hit me. How many times have I made my life about the pursuit of a record deal? Or about buying a guitar? About people's oppinion of me? About making a real salary? All of those seem like pretty big things, really.
But I pray that at the end of my life, the record won't show:
"And she exchanged My glory for a piece of wood that makes sound....for a piece of paper that says she's an artist...for a currency that became as valuable as ashes."What is really important to you? What do you strive for? Does your glory come in the form of being percieved as a good parent? Or in the form of achieving a degree? Whatever you are wanting to glory in, are you exchanging the glory of God to get it? Because in the eyes of God, we see how little those things really amount to. The world's finest gold statue in man's eyes is only "an image of an ox that eats grass" in God's. Think about that.
SOOO, I defiled my guitar. Or at least that's what it would seem like in a guitar-enthusiast's eyes. I was so moved by this realization that I could trade God's glory for my own, that I made a permanent reminder to myself by doing the unthinkable. I took my new $2,000 Taylor guitar, and with a silver sharpie, wrote on the headstock, "The World Behind Me, The Cross Before Me." Anyone who knows ANYTHING about guitars would want to slap me. I thought about slapping myself. You just don't take a sharpie and write on a Taylor. But that's just it. In my eyes, it's a Taylor. In God's eyes, it's a piece of wood with strings.
May we never forget Who is first.