You shall die on the mountain that you are about to ascend, and shall be gathered to your kin, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his kin; for you both broke faith with Me among the Israelite people, at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, by failing to uphold My sanctity among the Israelite people. You may view the land from a distance, but you shall not enter it — the land that I am giving to the Israelite people.
I love what I do! Pastoral ministry is not always easy but I have found it rewarding. Even on difficult days, when the sermon is not coming together, someone has lost a loved one, or I have received the brunt of someones anger, there is nothing I rather do.
I put so much of myself in my vocation that it is easy to begin believing that I am indispensable. After all, who could care for these people any better than me, who could connect with them, console them, direct them, lead them, empower them, if I am not here?
This stream of though causes many of us to become workaholics. It is easy to work long hours and skip days off when we love what we do, add to that a feeling of indispensability and it throws everything in a tailspin (sometimes without recognizing it).
As I read this morning it struck me how difficult it must have been for Moses to climb that mountain. After all those years of service, all those years of leadership through good and bad, all those years interceding on the behalf of these “stiff necked” people, and now he could not enjoy the reward. He could only look but not lead them into the land of promise.
How disappointing that must have been!
He tried to get God to change God’s mind. Moses had been successful at this many times before, I guess he figured it was worth a try. God was not impressed and simply reminded Moses that he was done, there will be no changes of mind on this one. A successor had been named and all Moses was asked to do was to anoint him for the work, then get out of the way.
None of us are indispensable. God gives us the blessing of leading and then others continue what we continued from another. Sometimes we work so hard at achieving a goal that it makes sense that we want to see it through but life happens and maybe the glimpse is all we get to see.
May we continue to be present to the everyday of life. We never know when our time is up and we have to move on and let another continue what we continued.