Does being awesome have to be such hard work?
I’m coming to believe that as much as I want to live my life on purpose, show as much love as possible and, above all, help people know God better- as much as I want that, I don’t usually want the difficulties that go with those things.
This isn’t where I give you some moral lesson about how I’ve really just learned to buckle down and do the hard work. This is where I admit openly that I don’t want to.
It’s stressful. It’s exhausting, and I’m pretty sure I’m going a little bit crazy…
I’m thinking mostly of Moses as I consider this topic. Moses is my hero. He’s not my hero because he led the nation of Israel out of slavery. Nor is he my hero because the staff in his hand performed miracles and he was the self-proclaimed humblest man alive.
Moses is my hero because of his friendship with God. It’s the kind of friendship I want with the maker of the Universe, the kind of friendship I want to totally define who I am and what I do.
I don’t think God is going to ask me to lead millions out of physical slavery and into a promised land, although I do believe he wants me to somehow be a part of helping people move from spiritual slavery to the eternal promised land.
I find myself in chapters 3 and 4 of Exodus. I’m having a mini-epiphany/crisis as I type this because while our school was having a retreat this week, this guy gave a devotional about chapter 3 and about how Moses “turned aside to see.” As I considered Moses’ life and how much I identify with several parts of his story, I was asking God, “Where am I in this story.”
So when I typed above where I find myself, I felt dismayed. I really don’t want to be at this place of decision. I don’t want to be there because, just like Moses I feel positive that I can’t be obedient. It won’t be healthy. I don’t like it. I won’t be awesome.
But if I admit I’m standing on this figurative mountain, barefoot and arguing with a bush on fire, I have to recognize what comes after capitulation with God’s call.
First, after saying yes, personal failure is very possible and even likely. Second comes the mighty hand of God and salvation for people in need.
After Moses told God several times that he just couldn’t do what God was asking, God was actually angry with him. I get angry with people, too when they aren’t listening to me. Moses said, “I can’t,” and God kept repeating, “I can. Moses, this is not about what you can do, but about who I AM.”
Can I be honest? You don’t really have a say, but it makes a point to ask. When I look at the story of Moses and identify so well with his fear and self doubt, and then I lift my eyes to what God ended up doing through Moses, I feel really encouraged. But then? Then my alarm clock goes off the next morning and I look at the day ahead of me which will probably not involve a conversation with the ruler of a nation, nor something so miraculous as a sea parting to let me and my new million friends walk through…. I remember the tasks and none of them look as glorious as sitting on Mt. Sinai for 40 days in the presence of God.
There is so much more to Moses’ story and my own that I’d love to explore. Although it does help me to buddy up to him for moral support, what may be more important right now is for me to stop arguing with God about what I don’t want to do and simply take the next step forward as he directs.
After all, he’s responsible for the miracles, right?