Walking Sticks

I’ve seen enough pictures of the Holy Land to appreciate how important a walking stick must have been in biblical times to anyone traveling by foot. Not only for stability, but maybe even for defense against robbers and wild animals.

I’ve been reading from the Old Testament the past few weeks, and I’m in Exodus now. It’s been interesting to read once more about Moses throwing down his staff–I’m assuming that’s the equivalent of  a walking stick–and having it turn into a lively and rather frightening snake. And then God telling him to pick it up  and turning it back into a staff.

Later on, when the Children of Israel were complaining about the lack of water, God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff, and that made water flow from a rock. If I remember correctly, Moses got in trouble with the Lord later on when he tried to do the same thing on his own initiative and not because God told him to. In fact, wasn’t Moses’ disobedience the thing that prevented him from being permitted to enter the Promised Land when they finally got there?

I’ll bet Jesus used a walking stick, too. He certainly did a lot of moving around from village to village, and He and His disciples had to walk. I often wonder what His walking stick looked like. No matter what kind of wood it was made from, I suspect it had a well-worn look by the last time He used it.

I often use a walking stick, too. Not because I can’t walk without one, but because I can trip over a line in the floor. So it’s especially important for me to use one when walking at the mall or in the neighborhood. In addition to adding stability, it helps me keep my rhythm in walking. Unlike walkers in Jesus’ day, I doubt I’ll need it for defense, but you never know.

Even though a physical walking stick like you see me with in this unusual selfie adds stability to my physical movements, what’s ultimately more important is leaning on the Lord for my overall walk through daily life. David knew what he was talking about when he wrote in Psalm 23, “Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Those words of assurance are comforting and good to lean on.

How about leaving a comment?

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

          

Links you might be interested in:

 

Advertisements

My “Aaron”

First, a little biblical background.

Isaac and his sons and their families had moved to Egypt when his son Joseph became second-in-command to Pharaoh during a time of famine throughout the region. As long as that Pharaoh lived, Joseph’s extended family was welcome and well provided for. But after the good Pharaoh died, subsequent ones forgot about Joseph and the debt Egypt owed him and his kin.

The Children of Israel (Jacob, Isaac’s son, was given the name Israel) were prospering and growing in number, and the Egyptians determined to take advantage of their vast numbers and use them as slaves.  That didn’t stop the Israelites from continuing to multiply.

One Pharaoh finally became so frightened that these countless foreigners living in their midst might rebel and fight against Egypt if an enemy attacked that he made their working conditions more severe. And then he made things even worse.

But God wasn’t ignoring the plight of His Children. He spoke to Moses from a burning bush and told him He wanted Moses to free the Children of Israel and lead them to the Promised Land–a land “flowing with milk and honey.”

Talking directly with God was probably scary enough, but Moses absolutely panicked at the thought of having to go to Pharaoh–he wasn’t in Pharaoh’s favor the way Joseph had been several hundred years earlier–and demand that he allow the Israelites to leave. So he immediately came up with the first excuse that came to mind.

“Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10, NIV)

Singer/song writer Ken Medema says it this way in his wonderful song “Moses”:

“Not me, Lord!
Don’t you know I can’t talk so good;
I stutter all the time.”

But Moses asks the Lord to have his brother Aaron do the actual speaking. Ken Medema says it this way:

“Do you know my brother, Aaron?
He can sing like an angel,
Talk like a preacher.
Not me, Lord!
I can’t talk so good.”

And God accepted it.

I can’t “talk so good,” either. Oh, I don’t have a speech defect, in spite of the fact that someone who has one once asked me if I did. Funny how a question like that can make a guy self-conscious for life!

As an official introvert (according to the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory), I need to think very carefully before I speak. If I don’t, there’s no telling how unclear my meaning will be. Not so much a problem in normal everyday conversations, but a real drawback in serious discussions. By the time I think of what I want to say and how to keep it reasonably clear, it’s usually no longer relevant to the topic.

I feel as if God has some important things for me to share with other people. Especially regarding His love and the fact that Jesus was born a human being, died, and returned from the grave to give new life to all who choose Him as the only path to the only true God. Heaven isn’t the only reward for Believers. So is a more meaningful earthly life.

Does God expect me to share those things orally? I keep hoping not, because I know my human limitations. I feel there’s a legitimate reason for me not to. God had a reason for not calling me to be a preacher.

But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want me to share His Good News with other people. He’s willing for me to use  “my Aaron” instead.

“My Aaron” is the written word. Novels, poems, and monologues. Plays, short stories, and essays. And also the sung word. The songs I’ve written over the last fifty years or so. And the musical dramas–even an hour-long rock opera–I’ve written and produced.

The words to my songs and musical dramas have already been carefully thought out. They come as close to conveying my intended meaning as I can ever do.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me these creative talents and allowing me to use them for Your honor and glory.

Do you have any weaknesses that keep you from communicating clearly? Has God given you an Aaron? How about sharing a comment?

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger