Sep 12 2012

Keep Looking

Every Sunday I have the privilege of doing a “children’s sermon” before the kids go to “children’s church.”  I love this part of the service because I absolutely love the children in our church.  Right now the children are learning about the life of Moses.  This past Sunday it was my responsibility to tell them about God speaking to Moses at the burning bush and how God called him to go rescue the Hebrews from Egypt. (See Exodus 3)  I used my brief time with the kids to tell them that Moses had failed miserably earlier in his life—actually killing an Egyptian—but God did not hold his past against him and still wanted to use him in His service.  This is certainly an important lesson; it is crucial that we all understand that our pasts do not have to limit our service of God now or in the future.

Another lesson I could have just as well emphasized is how the story of Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush is a reminder that God is not limited in the least in how or where He can speak to us.  A few days ago I came across the following tale in Ken Gire’s book, Windows of the Soul“The story is told of a pagan who asked a rabbi, ‘Why did God speak to Moses from the thornbush?’ For the pagan thought God should have spoken instead in a peal of thunder or on the peak of some majestic mountain.  The rabbi answered, ‘To teach you that there is no place on earth where God’s glory is not, not even in a humble thornbush.’”   Actually it is quite interesting to remember how many different ways God spoke in the Scriptures.  One of my favorites is through Balaam’s donkey.  (See Numbers 22:30) When we recall these, why would we conclude that God does not still have an endless supply of ways He can speak or reach out to us?

Gire encourages us not only to remember that God has a variety of ways to speak to us but also to be on the lookout for these.  He says, “If we are to see the divine artist’s soul mediated through the lesser things of flesh and blood, field and stream, flute and drum, we must look for windows in places we are unaccustomed to looking.”  He indicates that we must pay more attention to our surroundings and “go on looking until we see something sacred…”

You already know that I believe that one of the places that God consistently makes Himself known to us is through His Creation.  The “divine artist’s soul” is undoubtedly manifested there.  Seeing God in Creation, however, does not always come easy.  It takes time, patience, and diligence.  I would add that a humble and prayerful spirit is also necessary.  Not all of God’s revelations are as noticeable or dramatic as a burning bush, so be on the lookout and keep looking until you “see something sacred.”

–Chuck

(I photographed the trees in the top image on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain.  I took the bottom image at Breaks Interstate Park not far from my home in Pikeville, KY.)