Written by: Thomas Kilian, Chaplain
Moses remained in a nonpublic place for 40 years. It would seem that Moses let go of his hopes and desires, even the desire to free his people. Exodus 2:11 is the last experience of trying to free his brethren before Moses' wilderness existence.
His unconscious pattern of attempting to control reality drove Moses. His anger toward and abuse of a slavedriver and fleeing toward the desert reflected this inner state. There in his solitary existence, his son was named Gershom, “for [Moses] said, ‘I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.’” (Exodus 2:22). Moses appeared to be accustomed to being unclear about his identity. So others were uncertain about him too. An example is his relationship with Zipporah, when she introduced him to her father, Jethro, as an Egyptian, but Moses did not correct her (Exodus 2:18-22).
Solitude was a spiritual disciple, Moses learned in the wilderness (although Moses may not have realized it), and once solitude did its work, it slowed Moses’ inner being. Once slowed, his heart was open to hearing the Lord’s vision for his life and the lives of God’s people. Once stepping onto the sacred ground prepared for him, the Lord confronted Moses in the burning bush that was not consumed. Moses’ humility during that event was a homecoming in which he claimed responsibility for himself, his identity, and unhealthy patterns of controlling reality.
As leaders walking the spiritual journey, we have been made able by the Holy Spirit to name and claim ineffectual and destructive patterns as our own and not be overwhelmed by self-hatred while doing so. Leaders are introspective, listening to the Holy Spirit’s desire to refine us in a step toward the repatterning that must take place if we are to live in the love, trust, and courage that God is inviting us to.
While situations in our present leadership may trigger reactive reactions of the past, the task is to quickly recognize the need to slow the soul to come in contact with your dysfunctions, unveiling our wayward desire to use God and use people (ex. Numbers 20:10-12). This task is an opportunity of grace that our Lord extends to us. Without adopting God’s truth about us, we will spin a different narrative than God’s vision.