Posts Tagged ‘desert journey’

Numbers 4Definition

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We all know people who want to follow blindly; they do not want the responsibility of defining their work or of finding creative solutions to complex problems.  Their world is a construct of simple yes/no options with all questions answered by thumbing through regulations until the proper – and appropriate – solution is found.  Roles are defined by strict standards; rules are enforced without deference to circumstance.

We also know people who do not want to follow; they ignore or even shun any structure which holds them accountable.  Their world is built of elegant faerie castles with convoluted passageways and hidden places where the secrets that govern decisions are stored but rarely used.  The definition of role is determined each day by personal whim, and rules are changed according to some mysterious set of guidelines.

In today’s Noontime we find a set of duties laid out for the Levite priests that were meant to keep the covenant promise with God intact . . . and were also intended to prepare the people for the desert trek toward the Promised Land.  Regimentation and obedience are needed when the pressures of life become overwhelming.  In dire circumstances the standard rules may not apply and normal roles may change.  Flexibility will have to be matched by fidelity.  Creativity must be balanced by sensibility.  In order to survive the desert winds as we journey from oasis to oasis, we will have to balance carefully on the tightrope between passion and prudence.  This will only happen well when we understand our role as Children of God.  It can only happen with serenity when we understand our responsibility as Children of the Kingdom.  It can only happen in joy when we understand our definition as Children of Love.

It is not enough to follow blindly in the kingdom; we are called to develop an informed conscience so that our decisions flow from the Gospel Tenets.  Nor is it sufficient to hide passively or to strike out entirely on our own; we are called to act in accord with the Gospel Teachings that require us to love God and others before self.

When we act in accord with who God calls us to be then we have no need to hide; nor do we have a need to control.  When we act in accord with who we are – God’s children created in love to love others and to be loved – then the thin tightrope of the desert journey becomes a simple path.

And so we pray . . . Good and gracious God, you established the Levite priests to help your faithful make the arid journey safely to their promise.  You guide and protect us today just as you lead and guarded the Hebrew people through the Sinai.  Help us to better recognize what you require of us.  Help us to better appreciate who we are.  Help us to better value one another as we journey always to you.  And help us to better understand that we define ourselves best when we begin that definition with you.  Amen. 

We will be away from the Internet for several days. Please enjoy this reflection first posted on July 20, 2011.

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tightrope_walking

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Jestin Xavier: Journey in the Desert

Joshua 24:17: It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes.  He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.

There are many deserts in our lives and many places of captivity.  They sap our strength.

There are many signs that God performs in his love for us.  They bring us hope.

There are many protected journeys on which God shepherds us. We travel safely thorough enemy nations.

God says:  I bring you out of the desert because I love you dearly.  I perform great signs and wonders for you because I cherish you deeply.  I make a way for you through dangerous places because I want to accompany you.  I protect you in each day’s journey because I want to abide with you.  I myself have brought you out of arid places to a fertile place where you will flourish.  I have great plans in mind for you.  I want to free you from that binds you and keeps you from celebrating your freedom in joy with me.

When we feel trapped in our lives, we must ask God for freedom.

When we face insurmountable obstacles in our daily journey, we must ask God to make a way for us.

When we fear for our safety and fret over the enemies who will take us captive, we must ask God for protection.

Enter the word Egypt into the blog search box for more reflections on making a journey with God’s protection, or go to the Journeys of  Transformation page and consider making a journey this week-end.

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