“Sometimes standing in the shoes of those who have gone before us tethers us to our ancient roots and gives us fresh eyes to see that our stories are not so different from theirs. The stories of Scripture remind us that what we battle is our humanity, not just our own personal suffering or circumstances.”- Meredith McDaniel
“Earth’s crammed with heaven, / And every common bush afire with God; / But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
In Chapter 6 of In Want + Plenty, Meredith McDaniel noes the disillusionment we see in our own culture. Because our culture bases so much of a person’s identity on what he/she does for a living. But, when you welcome God into your story, you start to see your greater purpose and gain a vision regarding how to move ahead.
After the Passover, Meredith notes, the Israelites reluctantly left the comforts of what they knew. Even though they’d lived a very uncomfortable lifestyle in Egypt. But, they found security in the familiar. And that security provided an identity. As a result, they felt known through their labor, rather than as children of God. If only they knew to take God’s hand and follow His path! For then they’d experience life on a whole new level – with everyday companions of wonder and awe.
Therefore, Meredith applies this biblical lesson to us. She writes:
“One piece of wisdom we can learn from the Israelites dipping their toes into a fresh taste of freedom is that before we can find true peace we have to remember who we are. Ann Voskamp writes, ‘Beloved, you are the re-membering people. Find your feet. Find His face — His broken-wide-open heart of communion.’ So instead of shifting our eyes back down to what we lack, what if we tried to fix our eyes on Jesus and remember who we are, beings made in his image.”
Finally, Meredith exhorts, we can take hold of God’s love and goodness at any moment of any day. Also, the author lists several ways to fix your eyes on Jesus:
- Sit still and pay attention to your breath rising and falling in your whole being.
- Thank God for what you have physically within yourself and tangibly around you.
Today’s question: What ancient roots tether you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Communally alive – tribe by tribe”