Everyone has dreams, hopes and destinies that they feel they are destined and uniquely designed to meet. Keeping dreams alive is hard work. Once you are sold on the dream, you must lay the groundwork of preparing yourself. This may mean more education, networking, physical training, prayer, and whatever else you think it will take to help propel yourself forward.
You put in your heart and soul, blood and sweat into bringing your dreams to life, to fruition.
You will meet people along the way who are very helpful to you, but you will also meet a few who will stand in your way, if not actually try to hold you back or block your path.
But you cannot let them…
Our Biblical focus for today’s post is a tiny, but significant moment in the life of that spiritual superhero, Moses.
He was a male Israelite baby who escaped death by floating, literally, into the Egyptian royal first family. He has a rich destiny ahead of him. As he grows older, he begins to see the plight of his people, and becomes disenchanted. Trying to speed up God’s plan for his life, he kills an Egyptian in a fit of anger and must flee the city. He spends a little time learning to be a shepherd. Actually about 40 years.
Ultimately, God calls him to return to Egypt to collect His people and move them forward from slavery and bondage to freedom the Promised Land. During the move, the people, the Israelites, are not happy campers. These people spend a lot of time whining, grumbling and complaining. Go read it for yourself, I’m not making this up.
They complain that they have no food, so God supplies manna from heaven for them on a daily basis. All they have to do is pick up enough of it to supply their needs for the day. More is coming the next day, so there is no need to hoard. They grow tired and bored of the manna, so they say they want some meat. So God rains down quail on their heads.
But we want to hone in on two separate instances where they are complaining to Moses about lack of water.
Moses goes to God twice to get instructions. But, each set of instruction is a little bit different, so you need to read them carefully. It is such a small incident that is often overlooked, but in the end, it cost him the one thing he had been working toward.
The second trip back down the mountain, we can imagine that he is really growing tired, impatient and frustrated with this situation and with these people. They are talking so much that they cannot hear him, he can barely think and he is pretty sure he is misunderstanding what they are saying to each other. They are mumbling about wanting to go back to slavery, where life was better. Really?
He wades through the crowd to get their attention. All the while they are busy chanting. “Go back, go back!” “Water, water, water!”
God’s specific instruction slips away from him. He is pissed off! He takes his rod in hand and strikes the rock…hard. Then he turns and yells at the people, “What more do you want?”
In that moment, Moses gives away everything. He gives away his blessing and his potentially greater future. His anger has overrun everything else and it all fades in a heartbeat. In a literal single stroke, he loses his blessing and his calling. He will not be able to lead the people into the Promised Land.
80 years of preparation, lost. He has let loose his anger, which had been a problem for him in the past, and he let it get the best of him and the situation. He has in his raged placed himself in authority over the people alongside God.
Destiny and greatness fade to nothing…
Life Application…So what?
There are precious few things in this life that we can actually control.
We cannot change other people or their behavior. Ultimately, the decision to change is a choice that they must make for themselves.
The only thing we have full control over is how we respond to the things going on around us.
Have you, or are you letting other people stand between you and your best self?
Does someone else hold the key to your emotions?
Are you letting people pull you around by your heart-strings and your emotional hot-buttons?
Isn’t it time you were in control of you?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25619792@N07/4351897480/