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God And Shakespeare

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes.” Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 – 1861)

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Mount Horeb (also Mount Sinai), the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? Let me go and take a closer look.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!…..” Exodus 3:1-5

God waits to call out to Moses until Moses first notices God. For nearly every human being (Abraham being a rare exception), that is how the divine-human encounter takes place. God communicates with us after (or if) we make the effort to notice His presence. It is our choice to make. If we wait for God to contact us before we lead a God-centered life, we will almost surely never live a life with God in it.

Think of this analogy: Shakespeare will speak to us only after we make the effort to read and understand him. And the more effort we make to understand him, the more meaningful he will be in our life. It is no less the same with God. Bringing God into our life takes effort. What worthwhile thing in life doesn’t? Why would we think it would be different with God?

Adapted from The Rational Bible, Exodus

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