Reflection on Exodus 34:29-35

It is so easy to lose control when we overindulge in alcohol or smoke wacky weed…it is easy to let someone else control our lives when we want to “make it work”…but to let God be in control is too far. There is nothing to see, no credit card to max out, there is no voice, no controlling hand, no bottle to lift up and put down, there is only the loss of self…and what does that mean, exactly?

To die to myself is to go ‘too far” without some tangible element, a substance to blame or enjoy, without a package coming in the mail from over spending. To go ‘to far’ in letting God be in control means I lose my own choices and become-from my rational side– the Bible thumper I hated in college. You know, the ones who could not speak without quoting God’s word, who sang hymns as they walked down the hall, who whistled “Amazing Grace” across campus…they were weird and geeky, not like mE! How do I serve God as me and still give it all over to God?

To die to me is to look to God for every answer, to silently pray before each conversation and sometimes half-way through. To die to self is to believe that God has his hand in every situation, that the Holy Spirit is present and working through me, that in God’s perception, I AM ok. But not “me, myself, and I” of my choosing,  but the I created by God, the one before sin, the one breathed into me at my birth, the one cleansed from sin, the one claimed and captive to God’s will, God’s desires for goodness in all things. God is, therefore, I AM.

And it is enough, but, oddly, mysteriously, it is elusive and apart from my knowing; I still feel like me, still wonder and wrestle like I always have, only sometimes, I just let go and trust that God has this moment, this situation, because if I don’t, I’ll drive myself to drink… or I’ll be giddy with expectation of an outcome only God can know.

Moses wore the veil because it was too much for his friends to see that reflected glory, that brilliance of God, coming through, reflected and active in their buddy, Moses, the carrier of the stick, the bearer of God’s word, the doer of plagues…Moses, the one who needed Aaron to speak for him—at first—the one who needed to be talked into this quest, the one who brought along his sister and who fasted, stayed with God, for forty days…there’s no report on the happenings during that time. Only that he glowed with God’s glory.

Empty, he reflected. Alive, he spoke and led. Graced, he gave his information and donned the veil, holding back the fullness of the glory…some radiance kept for him alone, purifying, setting him apart, until the next time when he could again approach God, speak to God, know the fullness of God and bear that to the world, to his friends, into his bedroom, and be alone with the death of himself and alive only in God.

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