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Monday, November 16, 2009
Ever wonder what happened to this commandment? Before Moses went up the mountain, he heard it directly from God.
"What? Is someone talking to me? No way. I must be hearing things."
"Come back here. Test thyself," God repeated.
"Huh? Is that bush on fire? Oh my God, I need to get out of here!
"Moses, test thyself. Stay put and listen to me."
"Lead my people," was the command. "Tell Pharaoh to let my people go."
"What?" Moses responded. "I'm afraid of talking."
"Are you questioning me?" God continued.
"No, but God, I don't like to talk. I'm afraid."
"Look at what you're doing right now. You're standing up to me. What could be more terrifying than standing up to God?"
And God continued...
"Don't you know there are things you can do that you've not yet even tried? You've been skirting around the issue lately. You keep crying out in frustration for the sake of other Israelites who are being mistreated, yet you run away hiding, afraid to let any of the Egyptians know it. Do you think only they have power? You aren't testing yourself."
"But I wouldn't know what to say."
"You're doing a mighty fine job of holding up the conversation right now, Moses. I think you've passed the test. What could be more important and awe-inspiring than talking to me, the great I AM?"
You'd think of all commandments, Moses would have written this one down first. Thou Shalt Test Thyself.
Hundreds of years later, Jesus repeated the command, our Great Commission - Love One Another. Revealing it in the parable of the Good Samaritan and others, as well as to his disciples when instructing them on how to go out into the world, he essentially said, Test Thyself.
Yet all we focus on is the identified TEN commandments. Eight of which tell us what NOT to do, and two commandments that reveal very passive actions (I know, it's an oxymoron): Honor thy parents and Keep the Sabbath. Where is our Active sense of stepping up to the bush in these commandments?
Did Moses forget the very first commandment he was given before he even went up the mountain? Is this why he dropped the original set of tablets -because he didn't want us all to be in the position to test ourselves?
It's easy to see that today we stay focused on protecting ourselves - avoiding the courageous, the uncomfortable, the conflict. Consequently, when we protect ourselves, when we avoid, we live to regret. And God knows we don't want to live with ourselves when we regret.
So Test Thyself. Physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, humbly, professionally, personally, any way we are nudged to become a living example of what is possible when we step up to the burning bush.
Confidently, discovering when we need help, we will ask for it. Confidently, using our character, our heart and our mind we will experience full use of our abilities. Confidently, realizing that when we make an error - because we will - we will know how to handle it.
Thou Shalt Test Thyself. Today, tomorrow and the next day. Because we are not alone. And we are commanded.
at 7:56 PM