Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the LORD and he answered them.
He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
I write this from a motor lodge with at least 500 others co-lodged in the rooms up and down the halls. I’m surrounded by humanity yet I am essentially unaware of their presence. We currently share the same zip code, we’re breathing the same air (gross), and we’ve had pretty much the same experience that led us to this point: we all checked in at the desk, we all lugged our luggage (is that why they call it luggage?) up to our various individual rooms, and we all jumped up and down on the beds to make sure they were soft enough. As it turns out, mine was too close to the ceiling.
The idea that we’re all experiencing something similar yet can’t see/detect each other is a good way to describe of what it’s like to be people of faith, carrying out the practices and habits that lead to discipleship. The Psalmist reminds us that our ancestors — Moses, Aaron, Samuel — were in the same boat that we’re in, the only difference being the good work of our brother Jesus on the cross. Though the heroes of the faith seem eons away, separated by time and space, it’s good to remember that they were doing the same thing we’re trying to do right now: carry on in the faith, fight the good fight, and call out for some kind of direction and guidance from the Lord.
The truth is this: It’s easy to feel like we’re all alone. I’m not the first one to struggle to remember God’s presence and seek His guidance, and I probably won’t be the last. If nothing else, I need to keep in mind that my journey, though difficult and often treacherous, is nonetheless a well-worn path walked by millions before me. The unifying center is not our humanity, nor is it our shared experience. At the very center of it all is a Savior, Jesus, who is pulling together all things and unfurling a new Kingdom before our very eyes. Sometimes it feels like we’re in a room all by ourselves, but rest assured that we’re all in this together, and that this is just a split-second stay in light of eternity.