Monday, 23 April 2012

The small miracle of adventures


I know adventurous people. They get an adrenalin rush from hanging off the CN tower or skydiving or facing sharks. They are always looking for new adventures.

The apostle Paul was like this. Full of energy and zeal, he faced shipwrecks and beatings and all kinds of dangerous situations with the spirit of an adventurer. I bet he threw off the covers and exclaimed, "What do you have for me today, Lord?"

I am not like that. When adventure comes my way, my modus operandi has been to pull up the covers, peek my nose out and ask, "Are you sure, Lord?"

I relate more to Moses than to Paul. Some of us see Moses as the strong "10 Commandments" type figure, standing at the Red Sea with his rod extended. He became that, but before the exodus and the Red Sea experience, God had a lot of work to do. First, he killed a man. He was found out and he panicked and ran. He settled in Midian, married and probably expected to be a shepherd the rest of his life. But God had other plans. Adventures.

 I love Moses' whiny exchange with God at the burning bush.
God: Moses!
Moses: Yes?
God: Take your shoes off- this is holy ground.
I have a job for you. My people Israel are miserable. I want you to bring them out of Egypt to a land of milk and honey.
Moses: (in a squeaky voice, pointing to himself) Me? You want me to free your people? Why me? What makes you think I can do this?
God: I will be with you, and when you've brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship right here,
Moses: They're not going to listen to me! Who should I say sent me?
God: (getting slightly annoyed) Tell them I AM sent you. Now GO! I'm going to make some nasty stuff happen in Egypt because Pharoh won't listen to you. You'll see miracles and plagues. You just wait. Those Egyptians will be begging for you to go. Eventually.
Moses: (getting really whiney now) They won't listen to me. They won't believe me. I can see them all laughing at me now.
God: What's in your hand?
Moses: Huh? You're God- surely you know this is a staff...
God: Throw it on the ground.
Moses: (skeptical look) O...K..(throws it down and it becomes a snake) AHHHHHHHHH!
God: Grab it by the tail.
Moses: The tail? (does and it becomes a staff again.)
God: See- they will trust you because you have talked to God. Put your hand in your shirt.
Moses: Is there a snake in there? (Does it- and pulls his hand out- leprous.) OH GREAT!
God: Do you get it? I am behind you. In front of you. All around you. If these signs don't work, pour some water out, and it will turn to blood. They will get the message.
Moses: But God...
God: Yes...
Moses: I don't speak well. I stutter and stammer.
God: Who made your mouth? I WILL BE WITH YOU.
Moses:(crying, pleading)  Please send someone else!
God: (definitely ticked off at this point) Your brother Aaron will speak the words, but you will tell him what to say. NOW GO!!

Can't you hear it- God thundering and Moses sniffling? Man,I can relate. God and I have those conversations all the time.

That's not the end of the story, or the end of Moses. We know that Moses became a great leader, and led the Israelites out of Egypt. Years later, he still had his whiny moments. ("God, Your children--oy vey!) Although Moses allowed God to use him through protests and with his heels firmly dug into the ground, he grew and was used, when God called him to adventures.

It's not the end of me, either. I still occasionally pull the covers up and try to ignore God's call, and I have my whiny moments. But God has called me to many adventures, and each time, I have learned to trust Him a little more. Here is a recent conversation:

God: Ann
Me: Yes, Lord?
God? What have you got in your hand?
Me: laptop?
God: Yes. Go forth and write. You will take courses to prepare yourself. The final course will involve you going to Colorado Springs by yourself. You will fly to places you've never been, have a layover, go to a hotel in a city you don't know with people you don't know. You will learn to be a better writer, and you will have a blast.
Me: But, Lord...
God: Ann?
Me: Yes, Lord?
God: I will go with you. Shut up.

Leaving Wednesday on my great adventure. Bon voyage!

1 comment:

  1. Ann, your insight into God's conversation with Moses had me giggling and then wondering if that was an appropriate response. I think it was. Humankind has not changed so much since those early Biblical days has it.