“And here is how you are to eat it: Be fully dressed with your sandals on and your stick in your hand. Eat in a hurry; it’s the Passover to God ...The people grabbed their bread dough before it had risen, bundled their bread bowls in their cloaks and threw them over their shoulders. The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them; they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold things and clothing. God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people and so readily gave them what they asked for." (Exodus 12: 11, 34-35, MSG)
I remember school mornings when I was a kid being a mixture of hectic and sluggish. I would have to force myself out of bed, force myself to eat breakfast, and force myself to stay awake as I got ready for my walk or bus ride to school, sometimes not succeeding at this and facing a long ride to school in my mother's car, which generally included phrases like, "Seriously?" and "We literally live five feet from the school."
On cold mornings, it would involve sitting on the heat vent in my room, the living room, or the dining room completely dressed, half awake, and eating a pop tart, watching for the bus. I was ready for school. I was waiting for the bus. I was not watching the clock. But it was cool, because I had my shoes on, my backpack on standby, and I had an extremely portable breakfast in the form of a toaster pastry. I was prepared.
I have been on pins and needles this week. As I mentioned before in exceptional prose, I asked God for a big thing this week. As a rule, I do not like to ask God for big things. They aren't safe and I'm not emotionally stable enough to handle the answer of "no" on big things. So for me, it's typically better to just chill out, casually whisper the occasional hint towards God that I might like that big thing please, and step back into line. Boldness is something I don't do.
But then God did something I didn't like. He asked me to be bold. He did what I asked Him to do. He showed me clearly what it was that I was supposed to do and when I asked Him for signs, He delivered. I asked God to have someone tell me, to show me that I wasn't being crazy, and He did. I asked God to start opening doors. And He did. I asked God to do five things so that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this big, crazy, insane thing was actually HIM and not my psychotic tendencies. And within two days, He did....four of those. The thing with miracles is that they set the bar. It is so easy to see things fall into place so quickly, to get that phone call in the break room at work that sign number four has just come through and have to refrain from running laps so as not to alarm your co-workers. It's easy to get caught up in the emotion and hype and just know that you're going to get home and God is going to come down in a flash of light and confetti, shouting, "BEHOLD!" and you're just going to know and revival will burst forth in the land because come on guys, God had confetti.
But it hasn't worked that way, and I'm going to have a moment of complete transparency here, guys.
That freaking scares me.
I am, by nature, an aggressive planner. Everything gets planned with exact, timeline precision to the point where I've even altered the way that I use work software for scheduling callbacks and it drives my boss crazy but it improves my efficiency so he doesn't complain too much but seriously they're planned down to the minute and that's just not normal.
So when God comes in and tells me to trust Him, I hand him a carefully typed and laminated itinerary, as God is very busy and clearly needs me to tell Him how and when and where He should do His job.
And God looks at me and puts my itinerary through a shredder and I go into panic mode which brings me to typing this post at 7:30 AM, as I've been up for an hour because for some strange reason, I can't sleep.
And God tells me to take it a step further.
God tells me to get ready.
And I say, ".....What?"
Because that's certainly not practical. Why would you get ready if you have nowhere to go? Why would you get ready if there's no certainty in what you're about to do? Why would you take that chance and drop everything, just on a hunch that maybe God might be doing something?
Which brings me to the Passover.
As much as I adore Jewish culture, I must admit that I don't think that I would have been a very good Israelite. About the time that YHWH is putting frogs in my bread pan, I'm going to want to have some serious words with Him. Actually, forget that. About the time that I'm enslaved and He sits idly by, I'm going to have some words with Him.
So then this guy shows up and starts talking to Pharaoh, who sounds an awful lot like Ralph Fiennes, and crazy things start happening under the premise of, "Hey, let my people go."
By plague three, I'm hopeful. By plague six, I'm scared. By plague ten, I'm pretty sure that Pharaoh is just the most stubborn person on the planet and I am no longer maintaining hope that I'm getting out of there.
(I'd just like to reiterate that this is just an example of my unfaith, with much creative license taken. Any resemblance to actual Exodus Israelites is purely coincidental.)
So after all of this, this guy is still telling me that I should trust God because He's going to get us out of there. He tells me that not only should I trust God, but I should eat this fun bread that we're not leavening and also I should be dressed and have my shoes on, because we're in a rush now apparently.
God's telling me to eat standing up, with my shoes on, and my staff in hand so that I'm prepared to make a quick exit.
So I do it, and lo and behold, He saves me. \
This passage keeps coming back to me this week. The idea of "get ready and see what happens" is not one that I'm a fan of. Because it doesn't make any sense.
But I honestly don't have any better ideas.
So I guess I'll just put my shoes on.