I Want to Be Moses

I want to be Moses.

There are several impediments to being Moses, not the least of which he was not female. Promenade, original and signed limited edition  print at Steve Henderson Fine Art, licensed open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

There are several impediments to being Moses, not the least of which he was not female. Promenade, original and signed limited edition print at Steve Henderson Fine Art, licensed open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

Admittedly, there are a few impediments: Moses is another person; he is no longer alive; he was male — even in today’s remarkably tolerant societal structure these are factors of consideration.

But no. I want to be Moses because he was God’s friend. He talked to, sometimes talked back at, God; was free to express his misgivings, doubts, and frustrations; and he lived a really long time in really good shape. He got angry now and then; anybody who has ever felt bad about snapping at someone else in a temper might want to conjure up the image of Moses hurling the stones with the 10 commandments to the ground. Makes a broken coffee mug look minor.

And despite all this, God delighted in him.

If I can’t be Moses, I will gladly settle for Joshua or Caleb, the only two men in their generation who lived through wandering in the desert, because they were the only two out of 600,000-plus warriors who said, “Yes! We can do this, because God says we can.”

Same problem though: another person, no longer alive, male.

But I suppose it’s more of the concept of the thing, and one of my problems is that I aim too low. Most of us do.

We aim too low, most of us; we need to dream bigger. Dream Big poster based on Bold Innocence, by Steve Henderson.

We aim too low, most of us; we need to dream bigger. Dream Big poster based on Bold Innocence, by Steve Henderson.

Crunch the numbers here: 600,000 warriors, add women and children, what are we coming up with — several million people? And the main thing we hear about these several million people is that 1) They don’t want to talk to God personally but would prefer that Moses do it and 2) They’re not particularly known for their strong, individual spirituality.

This sounds like contemporary Christianity, which encourages followers to look to the pulpit for weekly teaching, rounding out any gaps with a small group study or workbook-led Bible study time telling them what the words on the page are saying. I flipped through a book the other day, written by a notable Christian author whose name on the book’s cover is bigger than the title, who (paraphrased) said,

“Commentaries are vital to understanding the Bible. Do not think of studying the Bible without a commentary at your side.”

Perhaps it would be better if he had ended the sentence with, “Do not think.”

Granted, the Book gets a little complicated, but it has been conveniently (and at the cost of many lives) translated into English, Spanish, French, Norwegian — quite a few languages of choice — and we read complicated books in whatever language we speak all the time. Millions of readers of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice derive great enjoyment from the author’s wisdom, and they pass on what they’ve learned to others. Most of them manage just fine without workbook sheets and study guides. That they do not understand every single word which Jane wrote does not prevent them from enjoying what they do. And I don’t think that they’re particularly open to the concept that only professorial types are qualified to speak on and about Jane.

Blue Ribbon by Steve Henderson of Steve Henderson Fine Art

Each of us has our individual path to walk, with God. Blue Ribbon by Steve Henderson Fine Art.

Millions of Israelites were content to let Moses speak to God for them. Millions of Christians underestimate their ability to speak to, question, walk with, understand, and love God, without the proddings and instruction of a leader, a study guide, a DVD, or a facilitator. In their concern to avoid getting something “wrong,” intelligent people rely upon others to interpret truth for them, intrinsically believing that these people must be interpreting everything “right.” Who needs the Holy Spirit when we have Ph.D.s?

And while these leaders are presumably more qualified than the rest of us because they have purportedly studied the intricacies of Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic and Latin (don’t bet on it), this doesn’t give us excuse to hand over the reins of our learning about, interacting with, and walking beside God to a third person party. Others, “experts” or not, can be a part of the process, if we so choose, but our walk with God is just that — our individual and unique walk with God.

So why can’t I, or you, be Moses? He was God’s friend.

Same God, interacting with a different person. I’m sure if we ask Him, He’ll respond.

Manufacturers and retailers, license Steve’s art through Art Licensing.

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
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7 Responses to I Want to Be Moses

  1. Alecia says:

    Wow! You really hit the nail squarely on the head with this one! Like you, my greatest goal in life is to be a friend of God. And I encourage and teach others to do the same. It’s amazing how much we trust people to tell us about God, rather than trusting God to reveal himself to us. We should definitely sit down for coffee someday and chat.

  2. Alecia — thank you for your kind words. You put it well and wisely — too often we trust people to tell us about God as opposed to God Himself. Do we doubt that He actually interacts with us today? Is there a bit of fear (justified, when you think about it) in dealing with the Master of the Universe, one on one? But oh! how exhilarating and awesome!

    You would be disappointed with my coffee tastes, my friend. I confess that I like it flavored and milked and sugared and topped with cream, so that the coffee flavor is there, but barely. But tea — strong black tea with a dashing splash of fresh goat milk. Ah .. .

    But I suppose the main thing is sitting on the porch, talking, and our drink of choice not being an impediment between us. I’ll ask Tired of Being Youngest to make us cookies. — Carolyn

  3. Alecia says:

    Carolyn, I must confess that I’m one of those people who goes to coffee shops, but never drinks coffee. (I don’t like coffee.) I try not to announce that too loud when I’m in a coffee shop. 🙂 I usually drink some fruity drink or herbal tea. Your back porch would suit me just fine. I love being outdoors enjoying nature and receiving “God kisses” as the wind brushes across my cheeks. Ahhhh… Love it! Those are perfect times to simply listen to my Father, and enjoy His presence. He’s so beautiful and good!

    If you guys ever make it to Austin, Tx, look me up!

  4. Like you and Alicia, I too want to be a friend of God and walk w/ Him. I talk to Him and He responds! I’m in awe. I have a poetry blog and I Write love poems to our Beloved. I would love for you to stop bye for a visit. Let me know when we three can get together for homemade cookies and tea to share our Beloved.

    • Hello, Sian — I visited your blog and enjoyed the poetry very much, as well as the imagery accompanying.

      The questions are — hot tea or iced? and what kind of cookies? and whose porch?

      It would be a kick, some day, to do this, but if we don’t do it on this earth, we will do it some day in heaven. It is good to realize that God’s people are scattered, like salt, all through the earth, seasoning life. — Carolyn

      • lovelaceii says:

        Luv fresh brewed iced tea w/ macadamia nuts and white chocolate chunk cookies. And yes we are sprinkled all over the earth to give it flavor. I also am from TX, Dallas to be specific and w/ drought and heat, it’s the best time to sit in the shade with an ice cold glass of tea.

        • lovelaceii — lately the Norwegian Artist and I have been imbibing in a nightly glass of cold Kombucha — fizzy, slightly sweet, just the right thing to go with the garden salad. I like that cookie idea — I love macadamia nuts!

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