Sunday, February 06, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Exodus 13:17-18

When Pharaoh let the people go,
God did not lead them by way
of the land of the Philistines,
although that was nearer;
for God thought, "If the people face war,
they may change their minds
and return to Egypt."
So God led the people
by the roundabout way of the
wilderness toward the Red Sea.
Exodus 13:17-18
 
Mary Louise and I tease each other. I'm the artist. She's the scientist. She's the straight-line thinker. I'm all over the place!
 
Whenever we discuss issues, I'm likely to drive her crazy. She wants 1-2-3-4 and I can tend to go 1-17-32-6-5-4. I get there, but I sometimes drive her nuts.
 
Most of us -- especially when times are tense and our spirits are anxious -- are scientists. We want straight-line answers. We want to see clear stepping stones, and we aren't inclined to step into the river until we see the next step along the path.
 
How many of you have ever figuratively or literally yelled at God because you didn't see the next stepping stone? How many of us have thought the clear path was 1-2-3-4 but there roadblocks and stones missing? We think we know the straight-line and yet sometimes it seems like God is leading us on a "roundabout way."
 
This passage reminds us that God sees a few steps farther ahead that we do, and the journey of faith is really a matter of trust.
 
Here's a favorite old prayer that you might find helpful when you can't quite see the logic of 1-17-32-6-5-4 ...
 
Lord God,
 
You have called your servants
to ventures
of which we cannot see the ending,
by paths as yet untrodden,
through perils unknown.
 
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
not knowing where we go,
but only that your hand is leading us
and your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen
 
In Christ's Love,
a creative wanderer
whose next lottery numbers are
1-17-32-6-5-4
----------------------------

I like to know where I'm going. What the schedule is. What to expect. I like surprises in the form of gifts and maybe a party ... but not in the day to day. The Israelites had to trust Moses and God. They had to rely on the fact that God was leading Moses who was leading them and they would not get lost or walk into danger.  


Trust is the hard part ... as the prayer above says we go knowing "that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us..."  Trust.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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