September 15, 2020
Exodus 3:1-6 Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Moses is walking along, tending his sheep, when something off the beaten path catches his eye, out of the corner of his eye he sees this bush, “and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.” And this causes Moses to “turn aside,” and once he “turns aside,” God speaks, “Moses, Moses!”
It’s interesting to note that it’s not until Moses “turns aside” that God speaks. It’s not until he leaves the beaten path, it’s not until he changes directions, it’s not until he alters his plan, that God calls out to him. It’s not until something catches his eye, it’s not until something “distracts” him, it’s not until then, and only then, that Moses receives his great calling in life.
In this story we are reminded that the old adage is true, “Life is ultimately not about the destination, it’s about the interruptions, the distractions, and the detours along the way.”
I imagine that nearly all of us had some plans when this year 2020 began. Some of the plans were probably ordinary, and some of the plans might have been extraordinary. And I’m quite sure that none of us planned to go into quarantine sometime around March and remain there for months. The dictionary defines distraction as “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.” I believe we can say that the Coronavirus has definitely distracted us from nearly all the things that we had planned to do this year.
So, we’ve been distracted, pulled off the main road, and turned away from our planned destinations. In the midst of this distraction I can’t help but wonder; How might God use this opportunity to suddenly catch our eye and find a new way into our life, find a new way into our life with the Kingdom? How might God be present in this distraction creating opportunities for us to renew our faith, re-form our life, and repurpose our service.
May we all be made awake to the God who is present even now. May we be blessed with eyes that are open to distractions, and ears that hear a great calling. And may we be filled with “the courage” necessary to “turn aside,” and go in a new direction with a different plan. Amen.