It's the Little Rocks that trip you up...

This summer I get to teach the Bible to a great group of 6-12 year olds a couple times a week. I haven't worked with kids this age in a while, so the 1st time I met with them I asked what they wanted to learn about. Let's face it, unfortunately all of us have had to sit in a service or class that we find completely boring, and I don't want that to be what these kids remember of their Bible story time.

This is a seriously smart group of kids. The very 1st question asked was, "If GOD gave Moses the power to turn the stick into a snake, then why did He let the sorcerers do the same thing?" After several

questions about the miracles GOD did through Moses, I figured it'd be a good idea to just start from the beginning of Moses' life and go from there. As I was getting ready for the 3rd lesson on Moses I was reading Exodus 3 and saw something I had never noticed before. I was getting ready to talk about when GOD appeared to Moses through a burning bush, and read that Moses "came to Sinai, the mountain of God." I had known that it was Sinai that Moses received the 10 Commandments, but I never noticed that it was also where GOD first appeared to him. And even more than that, GOD told Moses that there, at that mountain, would be a sign that he really did hear from Him. That sign would be that one day Moses will bring all the Israelites to that very place and they will worship together, free from Egypt. There's so many amazing things to take from that story, like the sign would come after GOD used Moses to lead the people out, and that the process wouldn't be easy and Pharaoh wouldn't just willingly cooperate. A couple days ago I hiking the trails at a mountain near where I live and I was reminded how precious Mount Sinai was to Moses. Before he ever did a miracle... before he ever led a nation... before he ever received the 10 Commandments... Mount Sinai was precious to Moses because it was where he heard GOD call his name... And as I had that thought, I realized I was at my own Mount Sinai. Since returning to the States in 2006, those trails and that mountain have become a regular part of my life and I can honestly say, here in GA, it is my favorite place to be. As I go up and down the familiar path I am surrounded by altars of remembrance. If that term seems foreign, in the Old Testament when GOD did something great, His people would stop and build an altar. Then whenever they or their descendants passed by that place again, it would serve as a physical reminder of how GOD had shown up in their lives. So I found myself hiking my favorite trail, remembering all the great things GOD has done. I jogged up a hill that, before I lost 50 pounds, seemed like a mountain in itself. I remembered it was the place I would get to in the trail and turn around because it seemed insurmountable. Then I passed by the place where I was when it started to snow once at the perfect time to create a cherished moment in my conversation with GOD that I'll never forget. I also remembered times when I had gone there to find refuge and cry out to GOD at an injustice that had taken place that permanently changed the trajectory of my life and the way I saw the world... So many memories... so many conversations with GOD... So many altars of remembrance.... And then I realized I had done that trail so much I practically have the path memorized. I know almost every twist and turn and large rock that I come upon. And you know, the large rocks take a lot more effort to get over. I have to pick up my leg farther and exert a lot more energy, but they are known so there is a comfort to them. It's not the large rocks that trip me up, but it's the little ones... You see, the places I know are going to be hard, I can take a little leeway and enjoy the view a little. Although I know it's gonna take a bit more effort, I also know what I'm getting myself into. But it's those little rocks that will make me loose my footing.... I think it's the same in life. There are so many times we know making wise choices is hard and we don't look forward to what lies ahead, but at the same time, we know what we're getting into. But it's the little trip ups in life that can mess with you. When JESUS was here he talked about how it just takes a little yeast to make a whole loaf of bread rise. Lately I've been reminded of this in my own life. Don't get me wrong I still am tempted to screw up in "big ways": to lie, or be utterly hateful to someone I don't like, or cheat to get ahead, etc... But those aren't the things that generally trip me up because I can seem them from far away. No it's the little wrongs that trip me up. The small compromises that come from a scared heart that can't see what GOD is doing so forgets who I am. Fear creeps in at whether or not the new business venture will work out, and easily I can convince myself that GOD takes care of those who take care of themselves; instead of doing what I know to do and trust Him to provide, in whatever manner He is planning. Or a friend I love is going through hell and I know I need to trust GOD loves them even more than I do and knows what He is doing. But it's the little rock that says, "You need to talk to them. They need you and your life experience. Confront them. Make them talk to you..." The little rocks tempt me to think I know better than GOD. They usually come in areas of my life that are personal convictions. Things GOD has spoken to my heart as to how He wishes me to live. Little rocks don't really come in the form of sex, drugs and rock-in-roll, but rather in the area of lack trust, insecurity, and forgetting my identity in CHRIST. So I find myself thankful for my Mount Sinai; my precious place where I meet with GOD. I find myself thankful for another, or rather a bunch of other, altars of remembrance. Every time I walk on a gravelly path or see the small stones among the big rocks, I will be reminded that it's the little rocks that have a tendency to trip me up...

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