Every journey, every story, must have a beginning. For me, the story of Exodus has, at its beginning, the burning bush. More specifically, Moses’s mindfulness after he first notices the bush. He takes the time to “turn aside” to ponder the fact that the bush is not being consumed by the fire. It is only then that God speaks to Moses, setting in motion the possibility that the Israelites would be freed from slavery in Egypt.
I have always been moved by the Exodus story (even without the Hollywood treatment from which I learned so much). It is a story of bravery, of faith, of fear, of betrayal and redemption, of punishment, of plagues. A microcosm of life, and more. So many teachable moments.
The idea that Moses’s mindfulness and curiosity begin the journey of the Israelites is really appealing to me. We miss so much by walking past the miracles that surround us each day. What if Moses had been consumed by his responsibilities as a shepherd? What if he had been daydreaming as he walked, instead of paying attention? Would we still be slaves?
By being so busy, by having our heads down, our noses to the grindstone (you pick the next trite image), we are slaves in some way. For myself, I wonder how much I have missed by my obsession with my iPhone. How many moments of holiness – of being present with my child, my partner, my friends, my family. How much joy? How much have I lost? Can I regain it?
I’m participating this year in #blogExodus, a daily series of posts, tweets, and status updates relating to themes of Passover and Exodus, created by ImaBima. The series lasts for 14 days – not nearly as long as the Jews wandered in the desert all those years ago. You can find other posts via the #blogExodus hashtag.