The Calf and Its Aftermath – Part 2

Blood from her torn ears dripped onto the woman’s clothing. She clenched her teeth, trying not to give into the urge to cry. The pain was excruciating. But the only way to remove her earrings was to tear them from her flesh. So, like the other men and women around her, she ripped them out and brought them to the High Priest.

Gross, eh? I wrote a couple of days ago about how the Israelites built a golden calf because they thought it could lead them into the Promised Land. Apparently the Israelites didn’t just casually take off their gold jewellery to make that silly cow. According to scholars, some of the jewellery was designed to be permanent. The Hebrew implies that they actually tore their jewellery off. Ouch!

Far worse than bloody earlobes, however, is the fact that, if Moses hadn’t interceded, the Israelites’ sin would have cost them their relationship with God. It’s all right there in Exodus 32.

A few years ago, like those Israelites, I almost paid a painful price in order to attain a dream on my own terms. You see, all my life, I’ve wanted to go to Africa and do humanitarian work. When I was in my last year of university, I came up with a plan. International human rights law. What better way to achieve my dream? It was brilliant!

I filled out my law school application and sent it off. And, sure enough, I got accepted into my law school of choice conditional upon my LSAT score. No problem! I aced my practice tests so I knew that I had it in the bag. With complete confidence, I booked the exam and paid the fee. The whole idea seemed like a no-brainer.

Deep inside, however, I had a persistent niggly feeling that it wasn’t the right thing for me. And so, when the time came to actually write my LSAT exam, I stayed home.

About a year ago, I came across a prominent news magazine featuring an article in which an international human rights lawyer—who was about my age—made an interesting comment. She said that everyone in the profession is either single or divorced because there is no time for meaningful relationships.

I believe that God gave me the dream to someday go to Africa. But if I’d pulled an Israelite stunt and done it my way, it likely would have cost me my marriage and my children. Even worse than that, it probably would have cost me my relationship with Jesus.

Honestly? There are days when the house is messy, the pot on the stove is boiling over, the smoke alarm is going off, the baby is crying, and my two-year old is angrily ramming her doll-stroller into my legs. On those days, I have to remind myself that God’s ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.

I have complete faith, however, that God will bring me into my destiny on His terms and in His timing.

I guess my point is … well … Proverbs 14:12 says it better than I ever could: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” God has a plan and purpose for our lives. He has put dreams in our hearts. Sure, the journey isn’t always easy. But if we take our own path, we’ll pay a price that we aren’t meant to pay. God’s way is the best way, the only way, to our destiny.


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