Monday, November 28, 2016

Miriam

Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing.  And Miriam sang to them:
      "Sing to the LORD, for he has
              triumphed gloriously;
   horse and rider he has
              thrown into the sea."  Exodus 15:8

We just can't seem to help ourselves; we have to analyze, explain, theorize about everything.  Something happens in the world, and immediately the experts and talking heads spend hours debating the whys and wherefores, listing the full ramifications and possibilities of this momentous event.  A simple task is given to a group of people, and committees are formed, action groups are put into place, a process is begun to come up with goals and objectives, with a final report to be produced with color-coded pages, pie charts, and all sorts of spread sheets.  Theorists, conspiracy and non, produce volumes of books to explain exactly what happened on that day, with that person so long ago.  We just can't seem to help ourselves.  This is how we deal with what happens in our lives.

This was true even back in the days talked about in the stories of faith.  God's people are rescued from slavery, and brought to safety through the mighty waters, and Moses cannot help himself.  This self-proclaimed inarticulate leader suddenly writes begins to sing a rather lengthy song about the experience.  And then, in true human fashion, he will sit down and explain it all to other folks.  Not just in one book, but five books!  Maybe he couldn't help himself.  This is how we deal with what happens in our lives.

Of course, we could just pick up our tambourines and sing.  We could sing a simple song of praise which almost sounds (to me) like one of those Taize chants which, when sung over and over again, begin to transform our hearts and souls, and draw us closer to God.  We could join hands with Miriam and the women and the children and simply dance with joy to celebrate all the wonders, the goodness, the hope, the life God has given to us.  We could spin and whirl and laugh until we fall on the ground in exhaustion, gazing up at the beauty in the night sky, bursting with stars, and moons, and blazing.  We could . . .

but that's not how we deal with what happens in our lives, is it?

Prayer:  We could spend this season talking, debating, analyzing what exactly happened when and where and how; or we could take your hand, Tambourine God, and learn the dance steps of grace and joy you long to teach us.  Amen.

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman



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