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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

What's stopping you? by Fiona Lloyd


            I’ve always had a soft spot for Moses. He spends the first 40 years of his life in pampered luxury, followed by another 40 tending sheep in the desert.
Then, one amazing day, he encounters God in a burning bush. 

            “Take off your shoes,” says God. “This is a holy place.”

He goes on to spell out to Moses the plans that he has for the Israelites, and how Moses will be the one to lead them out of slavery and into the Promised Land.

            “Fantastic!” says Moses. “I feel honoured that you’ve asked me to do this, and I have absolute faith that you’ll be with me every step of the way. I’ll go and speak to Pharaoh immediately.”

            Except we know that’s not quite what happened. Moses concocted a vast array of excuses. Suppose Pharaoh doesn’t listen? Come to that, suppose the Israelites don’t listen? Oh, and by the way, I’m not really much of a public speaker. God – being God – dealt patiently with each objection, and after a while, Moses ran out of ideas. But he still had one thing left to say:

            “Please God, send somebody else.”

            He must have sounded like the most truculent of teenagers. However, we know how the story ends. Despite an unpromising start, Moses went on to lead the people of Israel for 40 years, and experience first-hand the miracle of God’s provision. He’s mentioned in Hebrews 11 (along with many others) as an example of someone who lived out their faith.

            The story of Moses gives me confidence when I’m feeling I’ve messed it all up again. It’s good to remember that God chooses to work through flawed individuals. But I think there are valuable lessons here for my writing, too. Sometimes, when I feel I’m not making much progress, it’s tempting to start making excuses. No one’s ever going to read this. I don’t know how to fix this. I’m sure it’s about time I cleaned the bathroom. 

            But the God who called Moses is the same God who speaks to us today. If he’s called me to write, then my response should be to get on with it. He doesn’t promise that my words will be read by thousands (or even hundreds), but I can rest assured that my calling is part of his plan.


Fiona Lloyd works part-time as a music teacher, and serves on the worship-leading team at her local church. She enjoys writing short stories, and is working on her first novel. Fiona self-published a violin tutor book in 2013, and blogs at www.fjlloyd.wordpress.com. She is married with three children. Fiona is ACW's membership secretary.

18 comments:

  1. Ha ha! Yes, I have no doubt that, had Moses owned a bathroom, he would have come up with that one too. :) Great post, Fiona.

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    1. He he he, Fran. Moses can come and clean my bathroom any time. I too identify with Moses, Fiona, particularly his false starts. So many times in my life I've been enthused with vision and rushed off to try to fulfill it, only to find out that God didn't want me to move forward in it just yet. Instead, he wanted to divert me into a wilderness to sort me out.

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    2. Thanks, Fran - it's strange how appealing a spot of spring cleaning can be at times...

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    3. Thanks, Fiona - every time I read Moses' story, it reassures me that God can use me, too.

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  2. This is the second time this summer, someone has said, Just get on with it. Maybe next month! Sue

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    1. I think we all need reminding, Sue! Thanks for reading.

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  3. Really good point. I can prevaricate with the best of them. It's amazing how clean the house is when I have a book to write. Rearranging the bookshelves is also a good one

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    1. Ooh, rearranging the bookshelves...I'll have to try that!

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  4. Hmm. Needed that kick up the backside. Amazing how cleaning the loo can sound more thrilling that putting pen to paper sometimes! Thanks Fiona x

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    1. Glad it was helpful, Mandy! Looking forward to reading your book.

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  5. Hum: I'm going to say something different, like 'Isn't this interesting, everyone who's commented is a woman, and yet those who've identified with a Biblical character have all chosen an Old Testament man. Now why's that, I wonder? No women worth it? Not even in the New Testament?' I leave you with that thought: good piece though, whatever!

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    1. Interesting question, Clare. I think that a lot of the descriptions of men in the Bible tend to be "warts and all", whereas the women often seem to be shown in a more positive light. So while I certainly aspire to be a Ruth or an Esther (or an Anna or an Elizabeth from the NT), I identify more with Moses. Maybe I'm too ready to look at my faults...

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  6. Great piece Fiona :) It certainly encourages me to keep at it even though there seem to be so many reasons not to! Moses may be my new best friend...

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    1. Thanks, Deborah - I think we all need that encouragement to keep at it sometimes.

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  7. Thanks Fiona I needed that reminder to just write it! So many excuses leave unfinished writings scattered - a time to complete and then leave it to God :)

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    1. That sounds just like me, Tania - I'm great at starting things, but not so good when it comes to completing them. Thanks for reading.

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  8. I can't say I had Moses' start in life (though misfortune and fortune have been strewn along the path), but it has taken 8 years from start to completion of my first book. This Monday I held it in my hand for the first time. Using your lovely analogy, I remind myself now that I must not complain about the fresh water miraculously provided, or become bored with the daily fresh manna. I pray that I shall simply follow and one day, unlike Moses, arrive in the land flowing with milk and honey.

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  9. Congratulations, Dawn - you must be so excited! Here's to the next one...

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