There are moments in our lives that can drastically and dramatically change the course of our future. Such is the case for Moses at the end of Israel's wilderness wandering. Finding the complaining of his people, Israel, to be too much, he responds to their request for water in a way that nullifies his ability to enter the Promised Land. His mistake changes the course of his destiny. The man who led the Jews out of slavery and dedicated his life to leading them to the land of Israel will not cross into the land of milk and honey. (I honestly do not understand this story and struggle to accept it. It doesn't seem fair and doesn't reflect the God of love and mercy I trust. That having been said it's in the Bible and so we get to wrestle with it!)
However, what makes Moses so incredible in this story is that upon hearing this bad news, he does not give up on God or his people. He doesn't throw up his hands and say, Well, if that's the way it's going to be, then you're on your own. Good luck and good riddance!" Instead he keeps pushing forward through more twists and turns and delivers Israel right to the edge of the Promised Land.
When something happens that alters the course we have set for ourselves, and detours are inevitable, we may want to throw up our hands and give up on ourselves and others. Sometimes we may even want to lash out and vent our anger and frustration on others. However, Moses' experience reminds us of a few things.
First of all, giving up is not an option. We are always being directed toward a Promised Land, detours and all. Secondly, we need to learn to forgive ourselves and others. Finally, sometimes we need to compromise our own egos and redefine our own goals in an effort to help our community (family, friends, church) reach new heights.
May you sense God's constant guidance along the journey, may you know forgiveness along the way, and may you be a rich source of blessing to your travel companions.
Grace and peace,