Monday, October 20, 2014

Planting trees...

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the LORD showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain — that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees — as far as Zoar. The LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” Then Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended.

I've never understood why 
Moses was not allowed to "cross over" to the promised land.
After all that time leading
your stubborn, grumbling, never satisfied people,
the least you could have done is to reward him
with a little piece of promised land to call his own.
But instead all he gets is a mountain top survey.
Talk about delayed gratification!

But entering the land wasn't Moses' calling.
You chose him to confront pharaoh,
to lead your people out
and so that they could worship you on your holy mountain.

It reminds me of the time 
my grandfather, Pappaw, and I planted a chestnut.
Just a nut in a hole in the ground.
Pappaw planted the seed.
He told me to water it and keep it.
I did.
Pappaw didn't live to see 
that seed grow into a tall tree.
His task was to plant; mine was to grow.
Pappaw didn't live to see
me become a pastor.
His task was to plant; mine was to grow.

what seeds do I need to plant today?
Seeds that I will not get to see grow tall and strong.
But with eyes like Moses on a mountain top survey,
help me behold far in the distance of space and time
the fulfillment of your promise.

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