Take off your sandals because the ground that you’re standing on is holy. Exodus 3:5 (NIV)
Take Off Your Sandals – Signs Series – Part 1
I’m a sign seeker.
Sun = we must go to the beach.
Chocolate on sale = we must buy all the chocolate.
Things are hard = bedtime.
Feeling sick = netflix.
Tired = pick up another book.
You know, I’ve got this sign interpretation thing DOWN! *wink.*
Street signs, restaurant signs, left or right signs, decision signs, miraculous signs, value signs.
All this talk of signs calls to mind scenes from M. Night Shyamalan's 2002 movie of the same word… (“Swing away Merrill…” anyone?)
The Biblical text is full of signs:
Adam and Eve: breath and fruit and no more garden.
Noah: the flood and the rainbow.
Abraham: all the stars and the ram.
Moses: burning bush, the plagues of Egypt, and so many others! Fire, water, clouds, manna… so.many.signs.
Joshua: tumbling walls.
Daniel: The writing is on the wall: literally. And, oh yeah… he spent a night in a den full of lions and came out smiling (creative license used).
Just to name a few.
In the New Testament, signs seem to be a little more controversial. We’re told that signs and wonders will follow the righteous (Mark 16), but then we’re told that only evil and adulterous people seek signs (Matt 12). The writers of the New Testament urge us to test the signs; are they good or are they evil? And then Jesus performs “signs and wonders” and tells all those involved to keep it a secret.
It can be hard to know what to do with signs. In fact, it's hard to know what to do at any given moment about anything.
Should we zig or zag?
Should we speak or stay silent?
Should we eat the whole cake?
Should we watch Game of Thrones?
Do I take that job opportunity, marry that person, say yes, say no…
“Should I stay or should I go?” – The Clash.
We want signs. We want someone/something to make up our minds for us because it can all be too confusing. We want to get it right, first go, with as little pain as possible, while indulging in as much as possible.
Somedays, I check all the hedges in my garden and down my street, almost willing them to burn and start talking to me. Heck, I don’t even wear my shoes, just in case.
But the bushes don’t burn or talk for that matter. And for all my sign seeking, the heavens really are quite quiet in response to all my questions.
God said to Moses through the firey bush: “Take off your sandals because the ground that you’re standing on is holy.” (Ex 3:5). As Rob Bell often says: “did the ground suddenly become holy? Or did Moses just become aware of it? Are we standing on Holy Ground all the time?”
Is it possible that we miss the forest for the trees? That we’re too busy looking for burning bushes and shooting stars that we miss the fire and light hidden everywhere in our normal everyday lives? Is it possible that the ground has always been holy, but our awareness of it only kicks in after we choose to see? “Is it possible that there are no coincidences?” (“Signs,” by M. Night Shyamalan).
Maybe we’re asking signs to be answers when really all they are are guideposts, hints, nudges, “lamp to my feet” messages to keep us on the path. And although signs help us along the way, the decisions we make, and the steps we take, are up to us in this crazy life where the ‘destination' is more in the journey than in the arriving.
Written by Lizzy