Friday January 4 2019

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Scripture: Exodus 3:1-5

Reflection: Historically, I haven’t been much for making resolutions at the new year, probably because I am painfully aware of how hard it is to keep them.  But over the last few years, I’ve made a few that have turned into habits that have stuck. I have found that, when I can simplify my resolutions, I have a better chance of living them out.  A few years ago, when I was a new mom with a full-time job and looking for ways to simplify my schedule and reduce stress, my resolution was “do things that make sense”.  This helped me to think ahead and anticipate needs during the week, and then to be more organized about addressing them.  For example, if I knew I was going to be across town for one errand, I could tack on the one that was less urgent, but still nagged.  Last year, it was “take the time to express appreciation”.  I made this my resolution after realizing that while I admired so many things about my friends, family, and colleagues, I didn’t verbalize my admiration very much.  This was my way of reminding myself not just to think, but to act – to move from admiration to gratitude.

If the call of Moses commends any resolution to us here at the beginning of another new year, it might be “be interrupt-able”.  Notice what is happening in the story.  Moses is going about his normal week.  He has shown up on time and is checking things off his list.  And, all of a sudden, a sign of the presence of God appears.  We would do well to note that the story says, “When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush…”.  If Moses had not stopped and turned to pay attention, he might have missed God right there in front of him, calling him to new life.

I wonder how often God tries to get our attention in the midst of our typical, busy weeks.  It may not be in the form of a burning bush, but could it be that God shows up in our lives and asks us to take a minute, put down whatever it is we are doing, and pay attention?  Perhaps it is a stranger who needs help when we are out rushing through our errands.  Perhaps it is a child who wants to show you a piece of “artwork” or to kick a ball when you feel your “to do” list growing.  Perhaps it is a phone call you “don’t have time” to take, but do anyway.  Perhaps, it is when we can stop rushing through our lives that we can perceive the ways God is trying to speak to us, to call us again to love each other the way that Christ has first loved us.

We live in a culture where busyness is seen as a status symbol.  Ours is a culture where rushing is a virtue, a sign of our importance.  But maybe God is calling us to “be interrupt-able” – which is to say, to be attentive to how God chooses to show up in our lives, even and especially when it isn’t on our agenda.

Prayer: Dear God, help me to trust you enough with my life to risk turning aside, like Moses, to see you at work in my life in unexpected ways. Amen.

Author: Anna Dickson

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

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