The expression, “Don’t have a com, man!” was made popular by Bart Simpson in the TV sitcom The Simpsons. But its history can be traced back to the 1950’s when first introduced in Great Britain as an expression of “having kittens” rather than a cow.
“Don’t have a cow” means to chill out, calm down, to not to be worried, upset or angry about something. I also think this expression has a significant meaning in our own Lenten journey.
We’re all familiar with the Exodus story of when Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days getting the 10 Commandments, the Israelite’s were getting impatient and they feared that Moses wasn’t coming back. So they asked Aaron to make them a representation of God – a symbol of God’s presence – something to assure them that they were not alone in the wilderness. They lost sight of God, and they lost their direction, so they longed for a visible image of God to lead them. So Aaron chooses a golden calf.
But the God we worship is not one we can look at; rather, God shapes the way we look at everything we see. Therefore, our golden calf is anything that takes our eyes off of the real God.
We experience many of God’s miracles every single day, yet we are often too impatient to see it. We find ourselves forgetting about God’s goodness and how much God cares for us and helps us daily. So we end up turning away from God and worshiping our own gods like: video games, sports, shopping, TV, the Internet, social media, or whatever. Sometimes, time can become our God. We find ourselves so busy doing the things we’re doing that we utter phrases like, “There’s just not enough time in my day.” Sometimes, we let money, possessions or having a good time become more important than God. All these things become our idols. Now there’s nothing wrong with enjoying all these blessings, as long as they don’t become the most important things in our lives, or our golden calf.
In these remaining weeks of Lent, let’s not get caught up in worry about what we’ve done (or perhaps haven’t done) or get upset about our behavior. Our loving God forgives us and wants us to turn our lives around. Let us start right now and return to the Lord and not let anything keep us from placing God first in our lives.
Let us remember that even though we have become impatient and have often wandered off course, God remains right where He’s always been: by our side. God has not moved, and He is with us right now.
So don’t have a cow! If we can eliminate the idols that control our lives, we will find the God who gives us all we ever need.