Thursday, April 9, 2015

Searching for Moses Moments

For the past year or so, I have been running a couple times a week.  It’s a win-win activity; the dogs get exercise and so do I.  I like the paths I run because even though the lakes I run around are manmade, they have attracted a great deal of wildlife right in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.  From Canada geese to great blue herons, from hawks to squirrels to beavers; I’ve seen quite a variety out there.   Over the course of a year, I have also watched the landscape progress through the seasons:  Spring… summer… fall… winter… and now back to spring.  The scene is slightly different each day, but I confess that I don’t always notice. I can be pretty focused on “getting my run done” and miss the subtle changes going on around me.

I can be so absorbed in Alan’s world—my thoughts, worries, and concerns—that I am virtually blind to God’s world.   

Sometimes I wonder, if the Risen Lord himself were to approach me on the path, like he did the disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) would I recognize him?   I might just as likely smile politely at the stranger passing by, tell the dogs to “leave the nice man alone,” and keep right on running.

I feel solidarity with Jacob. God is always on my path but some days I scarcely recognize him. 

Moses "saw" God in a burning bush. —Exodus 3:1–4:23
But occasionally I have what I might describe as Moses-moment.  A moment when, “It’s burning there, what can I do but see?”  

I had one such “moment” this week as I ran. Perhaps it was because we had just celebrated Easter, and my mind was more keenly focused to notice “signs of new life”.  Or maybe it was because spring is springing where I live in Maryland, and colorful blossoms seemed to be exploding everywhere along the path. The trail was teeming with life at every turn—rabbits, squirrels, ducks, geese, herons, hawks, and several times along the way, the flutter of doves wings…  The sound of the Spirit passing by perhaps? I think one might have to literally be blind to “miss the resurrection” that morning. 

Once Jacob’s eyes were open and he “saw” that God was present with him, he was never the same again.  His encounter changed him entirely; God even changed his name.  Likewise, the disciples on the Road to Emmaus had their own Moses-moment when the Risen Christ broke bread with them.  After Christ left them, they recognized the burning that had been there all along while Jesus was with them on the road. 

My prayer is that as time goes on I too might have more Moses-moments—moments when I realize the Risen Lord is with me, to the point where my heart burns; moments when I “see” resurrection beyond a shadow of a doubt. 

My praises will rise
As I come to recognize
Jesus is near.
Glory is here!

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