Moses and the Burning Bush: Serendipity or Mindfulness?
We all know the story, or at least we think we do, of Moses seeing the bush that burned unconsumed. But was he really the first one to see it? And what can this ancient story teach us about our own lives?
There he was, Moses, out for another exciting day of herding sheep. Counting sheep. How stimulating could that be? After all we use this process to fall asleep.
But Moses’ livelihood depended on keeping track of each and every sheep. So he could ill afford to spend his day on autopilot like we do so much of our lives. He had to pay attention with a vibrant sense of curiosity, a fundamental attitude of mindfulness. Furthermore a successful shepherd would do so from a perspective of kindness and sense of humor, recognizing the possibility a sheep could go rogue at any moment.
It’s with this focus on the present moment, embraced with a feeling of compassion Moses cultivated years ago, that he came upon the famed burning bush. The Bible here, like many places, is scarce on the details. We don’t know if the bush just started burning when Moses arrived, nor how long it kept burning after his conversation with God ended.
Had the bush perhaps been burning long before Moses appeared? Is it possible that someone, or many someones, walked by the burning bush unaware of the miracle before them? If it continued burning, did anyone see it after Moses?
It’s easy to think “well of course Moses was the only one. Anyone (insert your name) would have stopped and looked at such a miraculous sight.” But is that really true?
I think the greater truth is that we spend so much of our lives consumed with thoughts of the next meeting, next phone call, the next text, the next game, next, next, next that we miss what’s happening right now, right in front of us. If that bush was burning today, I can easily imagine people walking by with necks bent in a posture of oblivion, completing ignoring the miracle.
Maybe Moses wasn’t the first. But many he was the first who was present, who was living mindfully. The first to be open to new possibilities. So here’s my plea to you. Slow down. Look around. Pay attention. There are miracles all around us.
Stress can get in the way of seeing these miracles and that can have long lasting negative affects on your health, relationships, on your life. If you want to change, contact me (513-666-1413, www.mindsatpeace.net) and let’s see if we can work together to find the miracles that are right in front of you.