July 4 represents freedom for all Americans. We have freedom of choice in our daily life, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. For example, we may not FEEL free to leave our jobs or bad relationships, but we ARE free to make different choices around both, which could then free us from the circumstances that are binding us mentally or emotionally. But today is not July 4, you say. It has taken a few days for thoughts in an email I read to percolate in my head and then take written form.
I receive a daily meditation from Richard Rohr, an American Franciscan friar, and the one that appeared in my email inbox on July 4 was especially profound for me. In this excerpt, Rohr is speaking about Moses’ experience with God at the burning bush:
Immediately after Moses had his heart-stopping experience, YHWH said to him: “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt. Now, go! Tell Pharaoh to let my people go” (Exodus 3:7, 10). God gives Moses an experience of an unnamable Presence, and it has immediate practical—and in this case socio-political—implications and direction. Rather than invite Moses to worship or attend a church service, God says, “Go make a difference, Moses!”
The fire burned for him, then in him, and finally through him.
It’s the last sentence above that really struck me. “The fire burned for him, then in him, and finally through him.” Because of the work I do with Someday (see my book “Make Everyday Your Someday: The Guide to Living With Passion and Purpose), I have come to trust that there will be a moment, several moments actually, in your life where your heart will say, “No more!” and you will begin in that exact second to change your thinking in order to save your soul. Now that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Our divine purpose, known by our hearts and craved by our souls, will make itself known to us, and we will, in that split second, declare that it is time to move in the direction of our passions and will no longer accept the false life that ego has been feeding us. Do we always stay on the path? Nope. There are many reasons for that that I won’t go into here. My focus today is on the burning bush of our lives. What is your burning bush moment?
The fire burned for him. A powerful cause or some unrequitedpassion of yours is unearthed or revealed to you. Your soul is stirred. You listen. You watch. You are affected profoundly. It could be a pivitol occurance: a death, a birth, a life-changing event.
Then in him. You begin to study it, read about it, talk about it. It occupies your thoughts, and you feel compelled to change aspects of your life because of it.
And finally through him. You have started to change and realize that is not enough. In order to live authentically and honestly with your life’s purpose, you begin to teach what you have learned. You give the gift of yourself to others through your passions. And that original fire, that burning bush moment, has now burned all the way through you and is igniting passion and hope in others.
My work with Durga Tree Int’l has been a result of a burning bush moment. The horror of human slavery was the bush, igniting a fire in my soul. I was profoundly moved by the plight of the millions of women, children, and men enslaved around the world. They have no fundamental freedom, no choice in their lives. It burned in me and then finally through me as I knew I could no longer just read about it and wring my hands, thinking how terrible it was and someone needed to do something about it. I became one of the someones. It is part of me now to speak to others about the atrocity of human trafficking and do what I can with my gifts to help abolish slavery.
What is your burning bush moment? What ignites passion and purpose in you? Are you allowing it to burn in you and then through you or are you extinguishing it with excuses and fear? I promise you that if you allow that bush to start that fire in you which pushes you on a purpose-filled path, you will not regret it. The interesting thing is the burning bush is never consumed. It just keeps burning brighter and brighter, illuminating your purpose. As it burns within you and ultimately through you if you let it, your accomplishments can become the burning bush for others. Your choice to let the fire lead you to a passion-filled life is because you have freedom. Even though July 4 is behind us, celebrate your freedom everyday by choosing to live full out and be an example to others to do the same.