“Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’” (Exodus 3:11)
Moses asked God a very familiar question, a question you may have asked yourself several times; “who am I that I should accomplish so and so…?” We all have this fear lurking deep within us that makes us question our self-worth especially when we are faced with a particular task or come across a superb idea. Who am I to write a book? Who am I to start a company from scratch? Who am I to think of becoming the president, the boss or the leader of my organization? Who am I to stop these killings in my country today? Who am I to compete with such talent/brilliance or skill? Who am I to effect change in people’s thought patterns worldwide? And so on and so forth.
Every time we ask ourselves this question, we are immediately taken over by a feeling of worthlessness, we suddenly remember our past failures, we see the faces of those who told us we are good for nothing, we remember the many times we were disappointed, betrayed and left out. Too often, we allow these negative thoughts steal our golden opportunities. Many have let their dreams die, many have lost (forgotten) powerful ideas, and many have taken back seats in life all because they told themselves: “I can’t, I am too weak, I am not good enough, I am too poor or I am nothing”
Dear friends, the simple truth is: no human being is born useless. God has a plan for every one of us; a purpose for our existence; a fundamental task we are meant to achieve. Of course, not everyone is born to become a millionaire but everyone is born with a million-dollar worth of purpose to achieve. Moses’ purpose was to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt at a time when the entire nation was languishing in slavery and pain but this purpose was not revealed to him until he encountered God in the burning bush. Do you know that it is precisely when you catch yourself asking “Who am I to do this or do that?” that you come across your own burning bush?
All the while Moses was growing in the house of Pharaoh, he never really knew his life had such a purpose. He only knew he loved his fellow Hebrews and could not stand the sight of an Egyptian oppressing any one of them. The beautiful thing is that even from our likes and dislikes, from our hobbies and talents, from the things we love doing, we already have some glimpses of our ultimate purpose. Moses had a passion for the Hebrews but little did he know that right within this passion was his purpose in life.
It was in the burning bush that God spoke to him in very clear terms. You may wonder? What is my burning bush? It is that place where you feel something has to do be done and at the same time, you feel worthless. It is that place where you catch yourself asking with Moses, “Who am I to…?” God immediately told Moses something we must bear in mind today: “But I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12)
You see, after asking ourselves “Who am I to do this or start that?” we leave God out of the picture. Instead of looking at Him who is putting such great ideas in our minds, we look at ourselves and see our worthlessness. Instead of us to trust God and proceed, we try to trust our own selves and drawback. Instead of us to think of the many great deeds God has done for us in past, we assume we are alone. If we read our first reading further, we would see that God spent a chunk of time trying to assure Moses that even though he thinks so little of himself, he has a God by his side.
When next you catch yourself asking: “Who am I to do this or do that?” know that you are in the burning bush, do not take your gaze away from God. Sure, you cannot trust yourself, sure, you may feel really worthless but sure, with God, anything is accomplishable. Don’t let your dreams die. When you begin to trust God, you will never look down on yourself again.