I’ve posted the source and the quote a few times on the blog before, but it’s worth posting again here. It comes from a quote from Rabbi Kushner’s interpretation of the famous burning bush story in Exodus chapter three.
Moses noticed that the bush was burning – but the text gives us a very important detail after that: it was not being consumed. It was burning, but it was not burning up. In other words, Moses had to stick around long enough to notice that something was not acting normally to the laws of nature. Moses had to stick around long enough to pay attention.
“God wanted to see if Moses could pay attention to something for more than a few minutes. When Moses did, God spoke. The trick is to pay attention to what is going on around you long enough to behold the miracle without falling asleep. There is a whole other world right there within this one if we only pay attention.”
One author writes that as followers of Jesus we are to be “detectors of divinity.” To be detectors of divinity means we live with our eyes wide open. We pay attention.
Have you ever thought that maybe there are burning bushes all around us but we don’t see them because we aren’t paying attention?
This concept reminds me of one of the best lines of poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
Are you willing to take the time to pay attention to the realities of the world around you like Moses?