Such Great Lengths
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the flame of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight and see why the bush is not burned up.” – Exodus 3:1-3 (NRSV, adapted)
Chances are you know this story: How God called Moses from a burning bush. How God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. How Moses resisted God’s call to deliver the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Now consider what the story doesn’t say: How long God had been trying to get Moses’ attention.
In the birth of his child, maybe. Through his feelings of guilt and regret. In the satisfaction he felt rescuing a lost lamb. In how alone and lost he felt, despite years with his wife’s family. In the stark beauty of the wilderness.
Note that God didn’t stop trying to get through. Instead, God went to great lengths, finally resorting to setting a bush on fire.
Notice also that Moses hadn’t gone on retreat to listen for a holy word; he was simply going about his normal business.
Take a moment to consider how many blessings you have missed because you didn’t take them seriously. Wonder how many angels you haven’t met because you were too busy to turn aside.
Consider that you, too, are standing on holy ground, and that God has a word for you.
To all the ways you continue to reach out to me, open my heart and focus my attention.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.