It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. The only thing that matters is where you’re going and how committed you are to getting there.
God had great purpose in identifying Himself to Moses as He did.
“Okay, like, I’m toast where Egypt’s concerned. They have long memories, so my name’s only gonna tick them off. So therefore – how do I introduce You to the Pharaoh?”
“You are–what? Who? Whom, I mean . . .”
“Tell Baldy my name is ‘I AM’.”
This – today – isn’t about anything in your past. That’s behind you. History. Done. No do-overs, no erasures (thank you, Wilhelmina Tomlinson), and all in front of a live audience.
Whether your baggage is an expensive matched set of Victorinox Deluxe, Bottega Veneta or Rimowa; or you go all out in matters of class and pack your treasures in my favorites, you have some.
Stuff you’d rather not revisit. Unpleasant, rough-edged experiences. Keen-edged shards of repellant memories. Broken, irretrievable trust. Splintered, mismatched relationships. Unplanned, unexpected detours on your journey. You did your best at the time, yet in the grander scheme of things none of it went particularly well. In the baleful glare of hindsight, you coulda done better. That’s what you tell yourself. Right?
And what about the truly great possibilities, the wonderful things you didn’t notice and let slip through your grasp? Lost opportunities? Yeah–that medium-sized roll-on crammed full of “If-onlys”.
Good, bad, otherwise – it’s all baggage. It’s in the past.
That’s all wrapped up, as it were, in God’s short reply to Moses.
It’s also a real good way to begin your day, every day.
You are more than your ‘was’ and you’ll never be comfortable with ‘will be’. You’ve zero control over either one. Our human habit is to overestimate the plainness, sometimes the ugliness of the past, and to undervalue the potential of life ahead. We also tend to compare our absolute scruffy past – what we know about ourselves – with the imagined sparkly fineness of others’ experiences – about which we can only guess.
This year over the Lenten season I read something that stuck with me.
Jesus wasn’t the only one crucified between two thieves. Way too many of us allow ourselves to be mistreated and suffer abuse the same way: crucified between the two thieves of regret over yesterday and worry over tomorrow. Those two have robbed many a worthwhile life of its energy and verve today, which is a living tragedy.
Start your day saying to yourself in the mirror, “I AM.” Then follow it with whatever you choose to be today. Want to know what’s odd? That’s pretty much what will happen to you today.
“I AM _________.”
Yes. You are. You decide what you’ll tolerate and what you will not. You decide how you’ll respond, if you choose to at all. Ignoring something is a reasoned response, is it not? Some things intended to goad you or others into reacting are not worth your attention.
Other things are. Other people are. They deserve your presence right here, right now, today.
So, yeah. God was telling Moses a whole lot when He said, “Just let ol’ shaved-head know that ‘I AM’ sent you and has your back.”
Jesus made scads of statements beginning with, “I AM” during His 3 years of ministry among us as an adult. John carefully wrote down some of those that Jesus was saying after He left here, divinely dictated through the disciple’s stylus and ink, on his lonely island outpost.
That means the whole ‘I AM’ thing is pre-loaded with Infinite power, unlimited data minutes and has all of Heaven’s resources behind it. It’s an ongoing statement, the defiant scream of freedom to do and be, hurled into the teeth of life’s storms by the man or woman who realizes two things.
It’s not what happens to you, making you think you must drag all that baggage around with you forever; nor what you think might happen.
It’s what you choose to do with this precious, shiny, glistening gem you know as ‘Today’, for you and I are always the sum of our own choices. And today is the only time you can add or subtract anything.
And that, friend, directly hinges on how you finish the statement of God that just keeps ringing and echoing off planets and suns and galaxies all across His expanding, contracting Universe:
“I AM _________.”
Yes. You are.
Once more: It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. The only thing that matters is where you’re going and how committed you are to getting there.
I love you and I believe in you.
© D. Dean Boone, April 2015