Open-ended

In the readings for Sunday morning, the Old Testament reading was for Exodus 14:1-12. It starts just after the Israelites have left Egypt. It stop just as they are telling Moses that he should have left them in Egypt, just as they had said back in Egypt.

They said this because Pharaoh was behind them and water covered the horizon in front of them. And it was evident that Moses, allegedly (from their perspective) at the direction of God, had taken the wrong road to the promised land.

Their attitude changes after the waters in front of them separate and they can pass through on dry land. Then they are grateful and happy and encouraged.

But at the time in the text where we stopped reading, they were complaining.

skywayI didn’t talk about that story on Sunday morning. I had two other stories to tell. But I thought it would be good for us to think about on a Monday morning. As the day starts, as the week starts (for those of you who haven’t been working all weekend), we may be in the exact spot where Israel was. Inescapable force behind us. Insurmountable obstacle in front of us. And no idea short of a miracle of how we will go on.

The thing is, at that moment for Israel, in this moment for some of us, there is no real pain happening. It’s not as if the attack is happening, as is true for many others. It’s not as if the tumor is growing, as is the case for many others. It’s not as if everything is already lost.

In this moment the only real thing is the words we are saying to God. Or about God.

So what if, rather than complaining about abandonment, we asked about the path?

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.