Turning down the path
I have always been stimulated by the story of Moses turning aside in Exodus 3 to see the burning bush: afire, but not burned up. Moses’ story is one of deliverance, struggle, and ultimately the triumph of God’s vision for Israel. But I see, in Exodus 3: 1-15, how our journey with God actually begins, grows, has ups and downs, and highlights the notion that God has a purpose for us all, no matter who we are, what our shortcomings and strengths may be, but the primary starting place is learning to pay attention. Moses is living – by the time we meet him in Exodus 3 - a contented life, far away from the challenge of his people enslaved in Israel, the pressures of royal life, and from the consequences of his killing of an Egyptian. He is married, beginning a family, and herding his sheep. He is on a path that is comfortable but what is he doing to fulfill God’s purposes for his life?
Moses sees the burning bush off the path, burning but not being destroyed by the fire. He is intrigued and goes toward. He quickly finds out that God is in this place, he is on holy ground, and God has used the bush to wake him out of his slumbering life and come alive with purpose. But if Moses does not step off the path, does he encounter God, will he ever discover his purpose? Moses initially resists, it should be said, the purpose that God reveals and says he is not up to it. God assures him that he is, and sends him back to the one place he would never want to go: Egypt. But, in answering God’s call on his life, Moses ultimately becomes the instrument of God’s deliverance. We cannot truly know what God’s desire for our life is unless we are paying attention for it and to it. God does not ask us to be a deliverer of people but God would use us all as instruments of healing in the world, vessels that share the good news of God’s love with other folks. Sometimes, all it takes, is paying a little closer attention to the world and seeing where our burning bush is located; where are the signs and signals that God is nigh and would call us closer to see what He has in store? May we be attentive, as we carry on with the work we do every day, knowing that God may be trying to communicate with us, even now.