After 3 flights I finally made it to Bangkok. Last night in Japan, I called a couple of the guesthouses here who said they were full-all except hotels who wanted 1600 Baht (over US$50). Also, the train out of the airport was shut down for the night because it was after midnight. I wanted to get a shower and some sleep, but that would have amounted to a cab ride and a hotel stay. So instead of rushing for that stuff, I walked the airport scoping out a few spots I could post up for a couple hours sleep til the train started rolling at 6am. Why pay just to have things now! now! now! when a little time would allow me to ease into the city in the daylight and make some better
choices? After all, walking the streets with all your stuff tells everyone you are in need, which is never productive. That tuned out perfectly. The train is really nice here, completely filled with totally silent commuters. Rob, who will join me in a couple days, sent me a few reminders about locations of the guesthouses we’ve been to before (the ones who told me they were full) so that’s where I went. There’s something about being present in a place, especially a place like Thailand. You can call on the phone all you want, but standing in front of the guy somehow gets him up from his noodles and lands me a room for 450 Baht/night (about $15). I was checked in by 9am, eating chicken and rice with an egg on top (my favorite here-$1.75) at a street cafe and it happened by simply waiting.
Back about 4am at the airport, I’d been putting off reading Exodus because I am into the tedious part with instructions about the temple and law. I do, however, believe in reading the Bible straight through without “adjustment” continuously. There is a danger in picking and choosing what I want to read and skipping the other parts with some logic that God isn’t saying anything through those parts. That couldn’t be more incorrect and lends to eventually reading the “good” parts that way too. Here in Exodus 27:8, there is an important lesson wrapped into the instructions about making the temple.
“As it has been shown you on the mountain, so shall it be made.”
Clearly, Moses was brought up on the mountain with God away from the chance of being attacked by enemies and away from the squabbling people. It was a time of revelation from God. Everything is clear on the mountain. Moses knew what needed to be done. He was in God’s presence. Clarity. The trouble is, he still had to go down to the people and tell them what to do, and when it got hard, there would be the temptation to argue with each other and adjust the plan so it was easier, thus compromising the thing God said, ON THE MOUNTAIN.
It’s the same with us. There are those moments of clarity with God. We know what to do. “Yes, Lord, send me!” Then we get to the thing and God seems distant or we think that his marching orders were a little too extreme. Maybe we weren’t being “realistic” after all, this is the “real world”. Maybe I was overreacting just a little.
Just like God told Moses in my own paraphrase, “Do it like I told you.” That’s why I think it’s important to write down the things God tells us to remind ourselves of what he told us when we were in that place of clarity with him. …And then do our best to make it like he said to make it. The question to ask if it seems like God is silent might be, “What did he say the last time he spoke?” and then, “Did I do it?” If not, that might be a good place to start.