LORD GOD, I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I AM GOING
By Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila
During the last few weeks I watched the original movie The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brenner twice. I have seen this movie many times and every time, including this time, I am so touched by the incident of the burning bush when God speaks to Moses and gives him the tablets of the 10 commandments. Moses had no idea where or why he was going up that mountain. Did Moses expect to encounter God as he climbed the mountain? I doubt it. He was curious as he said, “I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned.” (Exodus 3:3) When God called out to him, Moses readily answered, “Here I am.” When God told Moses to remove his sandals, Moses did so. And the rest is history, as they say.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.” How many times in our life have we asked this question? I expect this question was also in Moses’ mind as he started up the mountain.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.” Thomas Merton says that this statement should be seen as a piece of wisdom. To me, it seems to capsulize the multi-tasking roles of mother, parent, spouse, problem solver, schedule arranger, helpmate, caregiver, girl Friday, auntie, lola, encourager, and champion hugger – that’s us, ladies!! And, yet, as we face the daily challenges of womanhood we remember the account of Moses going up the mountain to see the burning bush that was afire with God. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet, puts it this way: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
We expect to find God in churches, in religious ceremonies, in our prayer time, in the Sacraments. We don’t expect to find Him while doing our laundry, or taking the kids to school, or at the neighborhood sari-sari store, or even at the supper table as we try to keep the noise level of our children at a tolerable level. The people during Jesus’ time did not expect to see God walking among them in their marketplaces, along their dusty roadways, or even among the elders in the Temple. The two men did not expect to see Jesus as they walked along the way to Emmaus. But God in Jesus Christ was among them then, and He is with us today, waiting for us to see Him and remove our shoes (acknowledge His presence and set aside our burdens).
Life abounds with ‘burning bushes afire with God’. He reveals Himself in the everyday ordinary life situations and experiences that we often take for granted, so much so that we allow our moments to be filled with routine and seemingly endless things to do. This makes it difficult, although not impossible, for us to recognize God in the routine, in the busyness and chaos of multi-tasking.
The Sacred pervades life and every moment of life. We just need to be aware of the wonder of God-with-us. In the BCLP, Talk #4, Repentance and Faith, we learn about Expectant Faith, to have the anticipation that God walks with us, works with us, hears the desires of our heart, and brings us closer to Him – as long as we expect Him to act in our life. Expectant faith – this is the practice of seeing the sacred around us as we go about our ordinary life. Expectant faith – we expect God to make everyday miracles in our life.
With Expectant Faith, our ordinary life is not ordinary anymore! As we walk with God, things around us take on new meaning, life itself becomes a sacrament. And our multi-tasking begins to slow down to allow us to appreciate God’s presence in everything we do. Our life becomes focused as we walk with Him.
Then, and only then, can we with high anticipation and enthusiasm exclaim, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, but as long as You are with me, holding my hand and guiding me, let’s go!” – NRC