Ablaze in the Ordinary Moments
The day began like most do, hectic and hurried. It was a Friday and the frenetic activity in my home between 6 and 7 a.m. seemed heightened as I readied my hesitant adolescents for another day. I could almost hear the seconds on the clock ticking away like the presence of an incorrigible nat during a summer picnic at dusk. I could feel my patience wane and the words strung together from my mouth held very little grace. As the screen door screeched shut, signaling the departure of children, I leaned heavily against the wall and sighed with a strange mix of relief and regret. The quiet was palliative, but it did not silence the nagging desire in my gut for a do-over to the morning.
A little over an hour later I arrived at the door to my office juggling an armful of papers and books, an oversized purse, and a dripping mug of lukewarm coffee. As I lowered myself into my desk chair and began to run through the agenda for the day in my head, a small post-it note placed strategically on the screen of my computer caught my eye. I felt a familiar catch in my throat as I read the words written on the small piece of paper, “Have a beautiful day mommy I love you so very much, remember it’s Friday! (Matthew 11:28-30) Love – Hannah” and the world stopped.
I have a hard time sitting still. The twenty-four hours allotted to me each day very rarely stretch far enough to meet all of the obligations I face. I have five teenagers to manage and nurture and duties of ministry which, if I am to be honest, sometimes yield only a heart full of worries and just a handful of fruit. I am, quite simply, prone to busy; preoccupied, self-reliant, and absorbed with the details of life. And in the whirlwind of the mundane, I have missed the miraculous.
Moses was out tending the flocks of his father-in-law Jethro when God called to him from a burning bush as the story is told in the third chapter of Exodus. He was doing the ordinary routine things of his life, the same things he did the day before, the week before, and the month before. That’s the thing about those burning bush experiences; they do not happen apart from or in spite of everyday life, but in the midst of it. Solitude in the wilderness ushered Moses to a place where he had slowed down enough to pay attention to the blazing bush in the middle of his own life. He was finally in a position to hear the Voice of the Lord calling to him from an unlikely place.
We all have burning bushes in our lives, places that alert us to the possibility that God is doing a new thing. Spiritual maturity grants us the discernment to recognize the bushes ablaze with divine activity in the middle of even the most ordinary places. When the practice of stopping to listen to what God is doing in our lives, and how He is moving becomes a habit, perhaps we will develop an awareness of the fact that burning bushes abound. How often do we miss God because we are waiting for the spectacular instead of recognizing His presence in the ordinary moments of life?
What is the burning brush in your life? Perhaps it is a person, place or moment that reaches out to you and calls you by name. Bushes blaze when the story of your life, the pain, and promise, the joy, and grief call out to you from the most unlikely places.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.