Still trucking along on Krishnan’s book — The conquest of inner space!
To bring you into the book’s dialogue — What is the miracle of the burning bush experienced by Moses in the wilderness? As you may remember in Exodus 2 Moses was tending sheep and saw a bush that was burning but did not burn up.
So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.’ (Ex. 3:3)
OK, so to really get this you have to understand where Moses is at! He was no longer the young man with a mission and vision — to deliver his people who were being oppressed by the Egytians. His passion had faded after his attempts to fulfil his mission were wrongly interpreted and his life put in jeopardy. He was living in a “desert place” and his purpose in life seems to have merely become survival. He married, tended sheep and kept his nose clean.
Moses wanders over to the bush that is burning and hears a voice (Ex. 3:6-10). “Go, I am sending you to Pharoah to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Just a little aside here — ask Jews what is one of, if not the most important, event in Jewish history. They will answer the Exodus, whose initial impetus was found on a patch of ground in a deserted place with a bush burning without fuel!).
So, here’s Moses. His mission, passion and purpose were pretty well sapped and zapped. He couldn’t get a thing going if he tried. He had done the ministry thing (tried to accomplish getting the Jews out of Egypt on his own — failed!). He had settled for a good life (with a good wife and kids and a steady job). And he was surviving.
He had no fuel to fire a revolution! His fire was pretty well out. If this was going to happen the fuel would have to come from somewhere else.
A burning bush would burn out in seconds — I’ve watched a tumble weed grab a spark, ignite in flames, explode in light and equally as quickly subside into ashes. Had Moses just seen the bush glow large and then implode in ashes it would be just another event in an uneventful day.
But the bush was not the fuel. The bush was merely the receptor. And the bush remained to bring the light to the desert. And when God said he wanted Moses to be the light and the saviour, Moses could see (imagination) that God could do the impossible. Moses was not the fuel, God was. God’s purpose, vision, mission and passion were the things that would keep the fire going. And so we pray to see God’s will done, to know God’s purpose, to be attached to his plan, to imagine his imagination!
As Krishnan quotes Eugene Peterson:
we require an act of imagination that enables us to see that the world of God is large — far larger than the world of kings and princes, prime-ministers and presidents, far larger than the worlds reported by newspapers and television, far larger than the world described in books by nuclear physicists and military historians. We need to imagine – to see – that the world of God’s ruling word is not an afterthought of stock exchange, rocket launchings and summit diplomacy but itself contains them . . . if we fail here, prayer will be stunted; we will pray huddled and cowering. Our prayers will whimper.” (p. 19)
Krishnan includes a prayer guide for some of these thoughts in his book. Here is one question to ponder — “If God were to light a fire in your heart that did not need you as fuel anymore, what would that mean?” What obstacles would God have to overcome to ignite your passion, vision, mission and purpose to do what God wants you to do?