Worshiping Golden Calves

Dearest Rachel –

There’s a bit of Sunday school jokelore, wherein a young boy is asked about his favorite story from the Bible. “I like the part where Moses breaks all the Ten Commandments!” is the enthusiastic response.

Well, he’s not exactly wrong. File this under r/technicallythetruth.

Yes, honey, this is the sermon this weekend, and it struck at me. It’s one of those sermons that, to quote some old-timer at some community church from ages past, where the preacher “done left off preaching and gone to meddlin’.” It’s the tale of the golden calf.

One of the points being made is that of our human impatience. The children of Israel (and most of the adults, to quote Steve Taylor) claimed that they didn’t know where Moses was or if he was coming back. To be sure, forty days was long enough to drown the world… who knows what happened to him up there?

They further claimed they needed a focal point of worship. Odd, since God was clearly still on the mountain, what with all the smoke and lightning. Weren’t they just terrified of it just a few weeks previous?

Regardless, you know the story. According to Aaron, he collected the gold from everyone, threw it in the fire, and out popped this calf. A likely story, but no more preposterous than any other tale of complex things developing by sheer happenstance. Not that there are any other such narratives I can think of, can you?

Anyway, there’s a comparison here between me and the Israelites. I catch a bit of grief from certain people – as if I don’t have enough of my own – about my search for ‘Megumi.’ It would seem that I am being too impatient, and trying to take matters into my own hands, rather than waiting for God’s timing.

And maybe I am being impatient. I’ve been told that if I can’t be happy in singleness (singularity?), then I shouldn’t expect to find happiness in coupledom. There is no other person who could “complete” me, any more than you ever did. And I’m not about to argue with any of that.

But I’ve already been through that time, however brief, where I expected to remain single for the rest of my life, and I was accepting of it. This is different; I’ve experienced both at this point, and I preferred being married. It’s as simple as that. And since there’s absolutely nothing I can do to bring you back, what is the problem in my searching for somebody else?

It’s not like I haven’t waited at all. I’ve heard from people whose widowed parents went looking sooner than I have. And while everyone’s circumstances are different, I certainly understand now what their parents went through. One of them was even told – and was mystified by it – that it was a credit to her deceased parent that the other would seek out a new partner so soon.

It took watching me go through this for her to come to an understanding about this otherwise counterintuitive assertion. You see, had her parents been muddling through a miserable marriage, how would her father react to losing his spouse? Why, he would be getting his inner MLK on:

Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!

Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream” speech, 1963

He would not be looking for another wife, if his marital experience had been a negative one. But it wasn’t, and he was. And that’s where it becomes a credit to his lost wife.

So it is with me. I enjoyed having you at my side – and being at yours – throughout our lives. And with that being said, this is why I’m looking for another to walk alongside of my for those remaining years of my life. Is it so wrong to be looking?

Of course, finding a life partner is a journey of a thousand miles. Asking someone out on a date is just one step. It may be that proverbial first step, or it may be a misstep. I’m thinking I’ll only know once I take that step.

As for the assertion that I’m taking matters into my own hands inappropriately, I come from a generation – or at least, was raised by one – that believed that the guy was supposed to be the one to start things. While it has happened to me in the past, it isn’t likely that a girl is going to ask me out if I just sit around passively at home; I have to go out and do the asking. But that leaves me to deal with the questions – is it too soon? And when will it no longer be? And by taking the initiative, am I usurping the role of God in my life on this matter?

It may well be that I’m still keeping that bit of my life away from the rule of the King of Kings, and letting King Me have a little more dominion than I should (which is to say, any dominion at all)

Now, I know He knows my type… probably better than I do, in fact.

On the other hand, it may be by going outside, doing things I wouldn’t have back in the day (weird to think that phrase could as easily refer to a year ago as thirty with regard to ‘things I wouldn’t do’) is just the sort of thing He would have me do to lead me to find a successor Queen. Without a clear voice from on high, I really don’t know. I do try to ask others for advice, but this is uncharted territory for most of them as well.

The other objection I hear is that I’m pinning my happiness on the existence of another. It’s a fair cop, as they say in Britain. I may very well be depending on someone else to make me happy – or at least, happier than I currently am.

I might argue that there are just some things that can’t be done on one’s own and enjoyed. Besides, I quite like introducing others to the things that I like; and I look forward to te possibilities of being introduced to new things in turn. But that still kind of requires a ‘someone else,’ doesn’t it?

I’d like to think that it wouldn’t require me making an idol out of this “Megumi.” Am I fooling myself? I honestly don’t know.

I believe you should put a woman on a pedestal… high enough so you can look up her dress.

Steve Martin, Saturday Night Live monologue, 1979

I don’t know if Steve was the first to come up with that line, but it’s the best I could find in terms of attribution (personally, I could swear I’ve heard it phrased more as a warning to girls, that “men will put you on a pedestal…” but that may be a false memory created from a fairly easy reconstruction).

While I certainly can understand the desire of a man to worship a pair of golden calves, tanned to perfection like so many are at this time of year, I would like to take this moment to plead innocent on these particular charges; I am not now, nor have I ever been, what is referred to as a “leg man.” You knew from personal experience where my eyes tended to rest, and that will be quite sufficient for the moment. Like the Big Bopper’s girl, “you [knew] what I like.”

For the curious, let me just say that their appreciation has at least a Biblical stamp of approval, from no less than Solomon himself. Of course…

Why yes, yes I do… and that’s the point.

But of course all this is getting waaay ahead of things. First things first: I want to reach out to someone, and take the time to do some things together. Find out about her, and let her know about me. Ideally, we should become friends first of all: Are we on the same wavelength? Do we enjoy the same things? And most importantly (as I found myself thinking about it on my way back from Iowa), does she love the Lord, and want to serve him?

After all, I’ve discovered I could give up sports when it turned out you weren’t interested in them. I’m sure I could give up anime if “Megumi” were to find no interest in it as well – assuming she is “Megumi,” after all. But should she want nothing to do with my faith, well… then that’s not her, and I should look elsewhere. Simple as that.

But in order to get to that point, I need to meet and get to know her. Is there any time that would be better than the present for getting started?

Wish you could shed some light on this, honey.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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