My Golden Calf

My Golden Calf

Abandoning the Right Faith for the Wrong Certainty
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As I was praying to God about what to write about this week, and resorting to the ill-advised yet surprisingly helpful technique of opening a random page of the Bible and reading, I came across the story of Moses as we climbed Mount Sinai and was given the Ten Commandments. I understood the story perfectly; I'd heard it before after all. While Moses was either climbing up or down from Mount Sinai, the Israelites at the bottom became anxious and asked a mysterious man, Aaron, to give them a new god that would go before them. "As for this fellow Moses who brought us out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him," they said. Aaron told them to give him the earrings of their wives, sons, and daughters, and with a tool, fashioned a golden calf. Then the Israelites, looking upon this golden idol, declared, "These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."

The story was clear and yet...I was STUCK. I started to panic; something usually clicked in me about this time when I reach the end of a story, sometimes not even needing to finish before His inspiration spurs my mouth to speak and fingers to type. Surely, the spark would come anytime now...anytime...any...time...NOW. I stared at the pages of God's book and anger swirled in me at the blankness of my mind. What was He trying to say? How exactly was this story supposed to relate to my life? What was I supposed to say about this story if God did indeed want me to expand on it? Finally, I just closed the book and went about my day, occasionally praying for God to give me an update on any progress He'd made on giving me the words for my article. Still no reply. A seldom prayer: "Anytime God," I told Him.

More waiting...waiting...waiting. Another prayer: "You just gonna leave me hanging?" More anger...waiting...anger...more waiting. The last prayer: "Okay, fine. I guess I don't have an article." I watched the clock tick past midnight. It was Saturday, and I in bitter contempt, watched my perfect record of submissions go up in smoke. Then, as I was sitting on the couch the next day, watching "The Golden Girls," the words came to me: My golden calf. It's me! It took me days of contemplation and regrettably a late deadline for me to come to a real-life application, proving just how deeply and significantly this story affects my life and my relationship with God, as I suspect He already knew. How long do we wait for God before we say, "God, you're taking too long. I'm moving on?"

Thinking of "The Golden Calf" in retrospect changed everything. God has just released the Israelites from slavery. He has directed His wrath against the oppressors of His people. He has made rivers run with blood, hurled fire from the heavens, sent biting insects and locusts and wild animals across the land, struck boils and disease. He has ravaged livestock and spread darkness over the land of Egypt. He claimed the firstborn. He shielded them from the angel of death! He has parted the Red Sea, and now, He has promised them a beautiful and fertile land of milk and honey. After having the privilege to witness God's justice and command, to have any skeptical explanation wither in the face of His awesomeness, the Israelites make an idol because Moses is taking too long coming down from a mountain?! It was infuriating...or it had been before the connection came in that unsuspecting moment. Then it was just sad.

I am on a journey of my own; I am coming from my own land of slavery to sin to God's promise land of salvation, and that day, I was forced to wait. Whatever was supposed to happen, I didn't know; I was at the bottom of the mountain with no far view. All I had were the promises God made to me and the troubles and hardships he had gotten me out of to sustain me. I'd learned that in times of doubt, reading the Bible would more often than not give me the answer I needed, and I needed an answer desperately. I also knew the Bible could be a challenging; meditation and reflection go a long way in understanding a scripture. Instant inspiration doesn't always come, but the one time in a while that I came across a piece of doctrine that didn't click, did I pray to God for patience? No. Did I pray to God for understanding? No. Did I pray for guidance in case I'd misunderstood? No. I prayed to God to hurry up, and when He didn't, I turned away.

I was left on my own to uphold my faith and trust in God's deliverance for a few days and I faltered, no better than the Israelites who desired "a god to go before them" than waiting for Moses to descend a mountain. My golden calf isn't made of gold. It's not even a calf. It is a human girl named Ashley, and I turn to her every time I falter in my faith, choosing to trust in her potential failure than God's uncertain success. I have a big day of confession ahead of me, but in light of a well-spent word count, I'll say the most important: Thank you God, and please forgive me.

Cover Image Credit: Marymagdalen.blogspot.com

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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13 Bible Verses For The Second Semester Senior Who Isn't Quite Ready To Leave

The important thing to remember is God has a plan and He will lead you where you need to be.

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As the end of the second-semester approaches, on the college level, underclassmen are preparing for registration and whether to store their stuff at school or not. Seniors, on the other hand, are preparing for life after college. For the past four years you have made lifelong relationships here and now, you are about to embark on the next phase of life.

On the high school level, most of the same applies. You have spent many more years with the people you're about to leave. You have formed such strong bonds through sleepovers, sporting events, taking all the same classes. This is going to be a big change, but it is going to be amazing for your personal growth.

You may feel ready. Or you may not. You may know what you want to major in. Or you may not. You may have a job secured already. Or you may not. And that is all okay.

Whether the next journey for your life consists of finding out what you want to do and living in a dorm room or finding a new place to call home and finding that dream job, don't forget one important thing: remember God has a plan and He will lead you where you need to be.

Here are 13 verses that prove just that.

1. Philippians 4:6

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

2. Proverbs 3:5

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."

3. Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

4. 1 Peter 5:7

"Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

5. John 15:7

"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

6. Joshua 1:9

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

7. John 14:27

"Peace I leave with you; my peace i give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

8. Psalms 56:3

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you."

9. Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

10. Isaiah 40:31

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

11. Isaiah 41:10

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

12. Hebrews 11:1

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

13. 2 Corinthians 5:7

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."

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