And Moses said,”I will turn aside to see this great sight…” (Exodus 3:3)
I was on the way home yesterday after a wonderful visit in Portland, a stop at LL Bean to get a water filter for the trek I am taking in June in the 100 mile wilderness. And on the way South on 27 I found melancholia had joined me in the seat beside me. “Who invited you here?,” I wondered.
My heart full of memory and the tasks to complete ahead, a sermon I was struggling to complete. I drove past the Cross River Preserve, remembered how I’d always intended to go there this winter and never did. Something in me wanted not to rush on home but to turn around and head back for a walk in the woods.
In the story, Moses is out doing his job, tending the sheep when he sees something. Or feels something that beckons him. How many times had he felt this before and done nothing about it? How many times do we know we need to step aside and don’t? But this day, this time, Moses did, turned aside to see a bush that was burning but was not consumed.
Its hard to figure. Sometimes the work that we to get to is that work at the end of the road and not getting to it is just trying avoiding what we do not want to face. But sometimes, the work, the real work, necessitates we turn around, turn aside, to see what this thing is that beckons.
Yesterday I turned around. Headed back. And as I stepped out of the car I knew that I had made the right decision, a life-giving decision. I felt such joy, such delight and happiness.
What is it about these Maine woods? Its mud and muck season. Brilliant green moss and blue-green lichens covering the trees, so bright they appear fluorescent. It’s the wonder of trees ripped from stumps that leave a firework of awe. It’s the curiosity of what is it that has been gnawing at the tree? Its not yet those little white and purple flowers that I remember from last spring. It is these little green shoots coming up through the ground cover of dark brown leaves.
I invite you to step aside this week with me. To be curious about those urges to step away from what you think you need to be doing to do what you might actually need to be about. And to listen with me for where joy is speaking to you, calling you.
When I got back in the car, the sermon had resolved itself. It wasn’t something out there to be done, but something right here as I turned aside that I needed to receive.
What today is yours to say yes to?