‘Who Am I?’
That, girls, is a loaded question. The world tells us our identity is defined by our appearance and possessions. In a sense, the world is correct in identifying our worth as something outside ourselves. However, notice when Moses asked the question in the above referenced passage, God did not respond with a list of all Moses’ qualifications. Instead He said, “I will be with you.”
Recall with me Moses station in life at this point. He is 80 years old and fallen from being a Prince of Egypt to a shepherd in the west side of the wilderness. The sheep were not even his – they belonged to his father-in-law as did his wife and home. Moses believed when he was a Prince that perhaps God could use his exalted position to aid in the deliverance of his people. But how could God possibly use him now that he had no power, no prestige to aid God in this great Exodus? By being reminded of this we can be assured Moses’ mission was not about his attributes at all, but rather those of the God who was acting to rescue His beloved people from bondage.
I have often tried to imagine how overwhelmed and under-worthy Moses must have felt when given this task. I am a visual girl so things do not always make sense to me until I have experienced something in real life that makes good application. Along that line of thought, when bizarre things happen to me, I immediately ask the Lord to show me the spiritual implications because I do not believe He allows wasted experiences. One of the craziest things happened to me this past year that gave me a small glimpse of Moses’ state of mind when God called him to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt.
This Christmas, I received a phone call from a dear friend and fellow church member. She also happens to be on the City Park Board and is in charge of orchestrating the town’s Annual Christmas Parade. I will never, ever as long as I live forget this conversation. Here is the condensed version:
C: “Hey Lisa, how are you, yada, yada. I’ve been praying about who to ask to be the Grand Marshal of the Christmas Parade and your name keeps popping into my mind. Will you do it?”(You can get a Preacher’s Wife with the ‘I’ve been praying about it’ hook every.single.time.)
Me: Stunned silence. “Yes, I’m still here….why on earth are you asking me?”
C: “Well we all love you, you do so much for the school, and you would just be perfect! And remember, I prayed about it.”
Me: (Because the letters N-O do not exist in my alphabet) “Oh sure, C, anything to help!” Cause it’s just what I do, ya’ll! I just say, Yes! To anything! To everything!
Can anyone relate?
I hung up the phone and immediately went into ‘translation/read between the lines/ulterior motive’ mode. Not unlike a Looney Tunes cartoon robot, I spit out this calculation: The Council must have asked every notable person they could possibly think of and they all had “previous engagements”.
Here is how I know this:
Grand Marshals are supposed to be citizens of renown – people who have a title, a tagline. Mayors, State Representatives, School Principals, Beauty Pageant Queens. Steven Spielberg was the Macy’s Day Parade Grand Marshal this year complete with all the characters from his Star Wars Epic. How do you follow that, for Pete’s sake? Not that my town’s Main Street is 5th Avenue, but Steven set a daunting standard, nonetheless.
With that said, I’m fairly certain a Grand Marshal is not a Preacher’s Wife. Not a PTO Secretary. Not a Regular Mom. How exactly do you tag-line a girl like that? “Lisa McKay – Beauty Queen Wanna-Be”, or “Lisa McKay – She Has Some Mad Copier Skills”, or better yet, “Lisa McKay – 1983 Walker County Spelling Bee Champion”. And instead of C3-PO and Chewbacca walking in front of my car, the only representative figures who could march in front of me would be deacons and fast-food employees who high-five me every time I drive through their line after one of the kids ball games.
The more I thought about what I had just gotten myself into, the more wigged out I became. I called C. back and said, “Sorry, but can’t do it. It doesn’t make sense. No one knows me and they will laugh at me.” She encouraged and begged and cajoled until I got off the phone still obligated to ride in the front car in the parade. I still cringe.
I was really out of sorts about the whole thing at church that night so I ended up telling a couple of friends what had been asked of me. Now let me say that first and foremost I knew I was underqualified but no one wants it to be confirmed by their peers. Do you want to know what they said, “Why did they ask you?” Oh, thanks for that.
The more that was said even though it was in good humor, the more mortified I became and I began seriously whining about it. “Why did they have to do this to me? Why in the world could they not have asked someone who made sense for this?” This went on and on for a couple of weeks. And then I got my real dose of humility.
A woman I dearly love had heard enough of my complaining and said to me, “Lisa, this town loves you and could have asked anyone, but we asked you. Now quit treating us like we didn’t know what we were doing and just consider it an honor!” Ouch.
And there was my visual for Moses’ commissioning at the bush. It was like asking him to be the Grand Marshall of the parade with absolutely no credentials! It was risking being rejected yet again as his brethren did when they said, “Who made you prince and judge over us?” Moses knew the Israelites would ask who sent him to their aid. He himself did not quite know until God gave a fresh revelation of His covenant name.
2. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt inadequate because of your lack of a ‘tagline’?
3. Do you have skills or position that you believe God could use mightily if only He would?
4. Have you ever lost a position or station in life you believe could have ‘helped God out’ with something He has asked you to do? If you haven’t lost out, do you perhaps feel you have to gain this in order to be useful to the Kingdom?
5. How are you with your dialogue vs. doubt conversations with God? Which does God hear most from you?
6. Do you believe God’s Wonders become more wonderful if they originate in the ordinary? Any Scripture references come to mind?
I am so excited that our study continues to grow and reading your wonderful insights. Blessings on your week!