what if it is in my backyard?

Moses was going about his work.

He was a shepherd, taking care of sheep. He was looking for the green, for the wet, for the temperate.

That’s tough work if you are doing those in the desert. Green and wet and temperate, safety and comfort, pleasantness and pleasantries are seldom found on the backside of the desert.

In the course of his work, in his scanning the horizon, he sees movement where there should be stillness. He sees color where there should be drab. He sees something.

I was reading Ruth Haley Barton yesterday talking about Moses and Sabbath and the soul of leadership.

She writes:

On the Sabbath, body and soul reach out for time of a different sort, time that is full of space rather than activity: time to watch the burning bush in your own back yard…

(Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, p 135)

She invited me to think.

Moses followed his curiosity, he stopped his pursuit of protection and wondered. And wandered over. And discovered God talking to him.

Of course, being human, when offered an assignment, he argued. Argued that he was unworthy. And argued that he was incompetent. And argued that he was unauthorized. And implied that he was unwilling. Unwilling to take direction from a plant which was demonstrating an unwillingness to be bound by the natural law that fire consumes its fuel.

I realized that I seldom stop long enough to wonder and wander over and listen. When I do, I frequently enumerate my inadequacies, brainstorm excuses, justify failure in advance of effort.

As I write this very early Sunday morning, I’m about to go to bed so I can get up in too few hours. Then I’ll run around getting ready for a sheep gathering. Remind me, if you would, as I’m running up and down stairs, to keep an eye out for flames in unexpected places, holy places, set-apart places, like the burning bush in the back yard.

And then, having seen them, to listen.

Not to my lists, but to the bush.

One response to “what if it is in my backyard?

  1. this morning when i woke up
    for the first time in a long time
    i smiled as i walked out to hear harold say “Hi Mama!”
    and in the quiet drone around me thought exactly this
    “This feels like Sunday.”
    and breathed a sigh of relief

    i won’t be looking for a burning bush
    but
    i feel like i have at least the quiet inside me to be aware of one