Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Picking Blackberries

I, like most people, am very busy. I spend most of my day rushing from place to place. Amidst this busyness, I have created a set of “rules” that I live by. My rules are often rigid and sometimes, upon reflection, seem absurd. However, the rules give structure to my busy life, which sometimes feels out of control.

For example, I love to play with my kids. I desperately want to be a “fun” mom. However, I find myself getting stressed out when the kids get too messy, or when they mix all the play dough together, or when they break crayons. These activities do not fit with my structured “rules.”

The problem with my business and my rules is that I sometimes miss out on life, which is moving on and being lived around me. I am so concerned with doing things the “right” way, that I often miss out on the experience of the relationship.

In Exodus Chapter 3, Moses saw a bush burning in the distance. He walked to the bush and this happened:

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.

I love this translation of the verse because it does not state, “Take off your sandals, for this ground is holy ground.” Instead, the verse states that the ground is holy ground. I am so busy and consumed by the right way to do things that I fail to notice that the very ground that I am standing on is holy. We are constantly surrounded by the powerful presence of God, and we are standing on holy ground, if we just take the time to notice.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning stated this best in her poem:

Earth’s crammed with heaven,And every common bush afire with God; And only he who sees takes off his shoes;The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries

When we are too “busy” to see the holiness around us, we might as well be sitting round mindlessly picking blackberries. However, when we slow down and take the time to watch and listen, we will discover that the earth is “crammed with heaven” and even the most common bushes are afire with God. Only those who see will take off their shoes - the majority will simply fail to see the holiness and the miracles around them.

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