Snow Forts Don’t Last
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Exodus 3:14
We’ve not had much snow this year and my kids are off in college anyway, so we’ve not made any snow sculptures recently. When they were growing up though, we created some pretty epic structures. I always liked working with snow because it was free, easy to shape, and then, in the spring, it all just melted away. Over the years, we had grand fun, building forts, sea monsters, and dinosaurs. My son and I even slept in our igloos once or twice. Those sculptures and forts exist only in pictures and memories now because snow is temporary. Though it was fun to build monsters and igloos, we’d have been foolish to think that we could have built a real, permanent house with snow. Snow is fragile, temperamental, and in a constant state of decay. To build a house, requires the use of much more permanent materials that don’t melt in the spring.
Though I wouldn’t try to build my house out of snow, because it’s so unstable, I’ve tried to build a life on something equally as unstable – my will. I’ve always believed in God, but I once lived as if I found happiness in seeking my own appetite. This is like building a house with snow. It might be fun and look good for a few minutes, but my appetite, like snow, is fickle and in a constant state of decay. Living for my way led to the disaster of my addiction. In that disaster, I asked God how to turn my life around. The answer was that, instead of daily following me, I had to make a genuine attempt to daily follow God. Seeking my way has been misery, chaos, and disaster. Seeking God’s way has been life, joy, and peace.
This is what I get from today’s passage. In the story, God told Moses to go back to Egypt to free his people from Egyptian slavery. Moses asked God who he should say sent him. God replied, I AM WHO I AM. This would have been recognized by the Hebrews as the ultimate statement of one who is eternally existent, self-sufficient, ever-present, unchanging, and all-powerful. This is the name and definition of God and it’s the foundation upon which they could build their lives.
I AM WHO I AM. As Christians, this is the foundation upon which we too must build our lives. Often, we mistakenly think that happiness is found in following our will, but that’s as foolish as building a house out of snow. If we truly desire joy, peace, and meaning, then we must daily seek God and his will, abandoning our own. Our way is disaster. God’s way is life.