1 Kings 12:28: After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt" (NIV).
After Solomon died, the kingdom of Israel divided. Jeroboam became king of the Northern Kingdom and Rehoboam, king of the Southern Kingdom. At that time, Jewish men were required to travel to the temple in Jerusalem three times a year, but Jeroboam was afraid these regular trips to the Southern Kingdom would undermine his authority. He decided to set up his own worship centers at Dan and Bethel and installed a golden calf at each location. Because it was more convenient, the people were willing to trade real worship for Jeroboam's substitute religion.
Don't sacrifice God's best on the altar of cheap substitutes. Sometimes we pursue the things of this world for ourselves and for our kids thinking they will satisfy us more than God. A personal relationship with God takes time, commitment, and interaction with the Word. When you are tempted to short circuit the process, remember that God doesn't grow oak trees overnight.
Life is found in Jesus Christ, not substitutes!