Set the Stage

When my husband asks me how my day was, I get right to the point and give him my update in a bullet-point fashion.  Just the bare facts and the meat of the matter.

Sometimes he stops me mid-bullet and asks me to go back to the beginning and add more context, to set the stage and tell a better story.  What happened before the bullet list?  Who else was there?   What lead up to the moment?  What happened after? How were you feeling?  What did you see?  He wants a more colorful painting of my day.  I sigh and try to get my mind to slow down.  

I’m at the beginning of my next blogging topic. I noticed that Icame at it in high gear, rushing to the bullet points. My mind, like a laser, reaching for the heart of the matter.  To challenge myself, I pushed pause and rewound the tape.  Let’s start this journey back a few steps and set the stage.  

Early in February, I began thinking about the TenCommandments and wondered what it would be like to study them for the balance of the year.  Is there enough content?  What do I know about them?  What am I curious about?  I began reading and re-reading the story, slowing down to appreciate the stage that was so beautifully set by God and Moses as God calls Moses into their next adventure.

On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt – on that very day – they came to the desert of Sinai.(Ex 19:1 NIV). They set up a new campsite at the foot of Mount Sinai.

It’s been a while since I’ve been camping and even longer since I was two months and one day into a new journey.  A journey where every day felt awkward, exciting, frightening, steeped in uncertainty.  I do remember the times where my life journey took an unexpected turn and I was faced with uncertainty, I remember exactly how I felt.  I was jumpy, nervous, uneasy and waiting to be surprised.  I longed for control, for my comfort zone, for a day I could manage my surroundings and predicthow the day would unfold.  I’m guessing some of the Israelites felt this same way.

As they looked up at Mount Sinai, I am sure it was a new type of scenery for most of them.  The intimidation of a mountain, majestic and unmovable.  I remember feeling powerless when I stood at the base of the Cheyenne Mountain.  I stared at it for a long time, sensing its weight and unmovable girth.  It felt like a force to be reckoned with. 

On the first day of their third month of freedom, I imagine the Israelites were steeped in uncertainty, a little edgy and also excited.  They were taking in their new scenery with heightened senses.  They were probably hearing every cricket, every howl, every new bird song as they settled in to their tent on that first night. 

The stage is set….