Do me a favor and kick off your shoes for this one. You’ll appreciate it later.
The other night we had some music playing and my son saw the title of the song on the television. “Ho…ly… Holy… Gr. Grow… Holy Ground?” He looked at me. “What’s Holy Ground?”
“Do you remember the story of the burning bush?” I asked.
“Yeah, that’s a cool one. Because it’s on fire.” (I’m so proud.)
“Do you remember what the bush was?” Picture me getting really excited telling him this story.
“Oh yeah. It was God. AND HE WAS ON FIRE.” He proceeded to wave his arms around and demonstrate what “on fire” meant. He continued, “If I was God, I would be on fire all the time. That would be so cool.”
So I told Andrew to be be Moses and I sat on the edge of the couch and ‘became’ the burning bush.
“Moses, Moses, come here.” In my best, deepest, God-voice. He casually pretended not to hear.
“Ahem. Moses?” He cupped a hand to his ear and took a step toward me.
“Moses, come closer. I want to talk to you.” He came closer.
“Wait. Stop! Go back. Take off your shoes.” He looks at me oddly and points at his feet.
“But I’m not wearing shoes, Daddy.”
I whisper to him, “but Moses was… so pretend, ok?” And he does. He mimes carefully taking off his shoes and even arranges the invisible shoes neatly at the edge of the carpet.
He whispers back, “Why do I have to take my shoes off?”
I told him that the ground was Holy. That God asked for Moses to take off his shoes and stand barefoot right on the Holy ground.
“What does Holy mean?” He asked me.
“It means sacred. That’s very, very, very special. And super-duper clean. Like only clean enough for God to make it.”
“Dad. That is so cool.”
“Yes, Andrew, I think so, too. Do you want to keep going with the story?” He nodded and went back to his ‘Moses’ position.
In pure, simple and adorable fashion, he taps his finger to his chin and says “Where were we?”
“Well, you’re on Holy ground.” I said.
“Holy ground. Hold on, I have to pee.” And abruptly, he dashed off to the bathroom.
How often am I in the presence of God and so easily distracted as this? Maybe the powerpoint doesn’t look the way it should. Maybe the microphones don’t sound right or some of the musicians just played the wrong thing. Maybe “Boanerges” was mis-pronounced. Or maybe it’s not a Sunday morning thing.
Maybe I miss out on big-picture moments because I’m stuck on the little details. Maybe my planks are causing your specks. Maybe I’m so focused on who the stumbling blocks are and what they’re doing that I’m failing to not be one.
So how do I, do we, clear all the junk away?
Take a good long, look at that beautiful photo on Facebook. The one of a family with a newborn, and rest in the presence of God.
Take a few minutes and look out your window. See the place that you have been placed and enjoy being there.
Stop thinking. Stop talking. Stop asking why.
Stand barefoot on the ground God has brought you to.