Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
At a writer’s conference many years ago, an author of historical mysteries told me that if I was looking for something, pay attention to where my senses are drawn. I’ve come to understand that on many levels.
For example, if I was lost, I’d send up a silent prayer to help me find my way. Then something would draw me to my answer. Maybe a ray of sunlight peeking through the clouds—dramatic, yes, but I’m serious. Sometimes a car horn from the right direction. Or a even the smell of patchouli. Such minor miracles these days!
One of my favorite Bible stories is where Moses has been wandering for many years and is now in a relatively safe place in his life, tending sheep, ho-hum. When suddenly….
2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. (Exodus 3:2-4)
See, something caught Moses’ attention. And he acted on it, checked it out, even though it meant turning away from the boring, ho-hum sheep-tending he was doing. He was given a life mission because he paid attention to what caught his eye and he acted on it. Of course, he had to have some magickal powers (a snake-staff, a self-healing leper’s hand, and the ability to turn water into blood—all of which are useful, right?). He also had to have a whole bunch of assurances from God but God did manage finally to talk him into taking an active leadership role.
In the long run, becoming a leader was good for him—as well as his people—and the story of Moses is well-known because of this turning point in his life. Otherwise, he never would have been mentioned in the Bible except possibly as a Hebrew baby rescued from the river and raised by the ruling class of Egypt, only to commit murder and flee into hiding. God would have picked somebody else to “let My people go” and Biblical history would read quite differently. So it’s a good thing Moses paid attention. Personally, I think having a staff that turns into a snake beats tending sheep any day, unless you’re a gay cowboy, but that’s another story.
Listening to and noticing what we’re shown, what stands out, pays off, whether it’s receiving a mission from your Gods, finding your way home, or even something much smaller but still very joyous in a way that just makes your day. Like this morning.
The sound of the air conditioner/heating system kicking on this morning as I got out of the shower startled me. A pine cone atop the unit made a weird noise, and instead of ignoring it, I paid attention. It didn’t sound like an angel’s voice, not by any means, but I went to window to peek out at it—and got a surprise.
In the middle of my backyard, in a place not visible from anywhere inside the house except the spot where I was looking out, was a plump bluebird with its ruddy breast and vivid blue feathers shining in the morning sunlight.
“I have bluebirds,” I said to myself, watching my little totem of happiness perch and flit and perch. “I have blue- birds!”
That’s almost as good as having a staff that turns into