God to Moses: “You’re Hired!”

Earth is crammed with heaven; And every common bush a fire with God; But only he who
sees, takes off his shoes, the rest sit around and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

When I was around 13 I remember asking my father how old he was when life began to
come together and make sense. His response was a chuckle of wisdom. I didn’t realize
then that my father could be as puzzled about life in his early 40’s as I was at age 13. As I
grow older I see why my father chuckled.

If the last five years of my life had a title it would probably be something like, “Planning for
your future: How to look hard after God and still be confused.” I’ve noticed the times I’ve
been most deliberate about planning have not always ended on the step I intended. I’m
learning to be okay with this way of stumbling, though I could do without its ambiguity.

In the midst of my planning I’m beginning to realize how God’s great work of reearthing is
the organic variable that I must welcome and fully embrace. Without it, I will fail to turn
aside and see God’s glory. To resist it would be akin to Moses leading a flock of sheep right
past the bush ablaze.

Imagine if Moses was working with a vocational counselor. His resume is totally shot. He’s
an ageing exile and a criminal. To get the job he landed at the burning bush (Exodus 3)
would likely require all hands on deck: consultants, job specialists, legal aid, advocates,
job coaches and more. He doesn’t seem to have the desire for change nor even the ability.
But God provides the opportunity. God lights a small tree in the wilderness and he draws
Moses close to him. And in this unexpected encounter God reveals himself and his plans
to Moses. Everything about this narrative is completely unplanned…at least from Moses
perspective.

Is it bad to plan? No. But can our planning be overcome by attempts to control outcomes?
Can we strategize in such a way that we do not embrace God’s organic reearthing? I
certainly have. And sometimes, if I catch myself, I’m reminded of my Father’s chuckle.

 

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