19The Lord said to Moses in Midian, Go back to Egypt; for all the men who were seeking your life [for killing the Egyptian] are dead. [Exodus 4:19]
Moses began his adulthood at odds with the law. Presently he’s living as a fugitive. He had run from Egypt after committing a capital crime – that of killing an Egyptian guard. The Pharaoh sought to take his life, but Moses fled. He ran and kept on running until he came to a wilderness place called Midian.
Presently, he is living based on his past not his future. He has developed a comfortable life in Midian. He is married to Zipporah, the eldest daughter of Jethro, the High Priest of that region and settled down as a shepherd tending the sheep of Jethro. Moses has settled; his original dream suppressed – his role as deliverer, rejected and his label as murderer, accepted. That label, murderer, lived in his mind for 40 years. To observe his life, you would say Moses was doing quite well. But what Moses put behind him, destiny brought back to him. A spiritual encounter quickened his conscience and challenged his reality. Moses could no longer stay in that nice, pretentious, settled existence. He realized he was living a lie.
Uncle Albert and I were discussing conflict and issues and he said to me, “When time fixes it, it is well fixed.” When your future becomes your present, you can stay in your past no longer. Destiny waited until time had passed, the situation had changed, and Moses was receptive. Moses realized that the life he settled for conflicted with the life he was destined for. Moses could no longer exist in his present; his future had invaded his now!
Yet, his past had a strong grip. It reminded him he was a felon, a fugitive no less. The past brought up all the reasons why Moses should remain in Midian, in his comfortable, settled life. Again, “When time fixes it, it is well fixed.” After 40 years, Moses was no longer the talk of the town. His record had long since been exonerated. His record was clean; he could do whatever he liked. The only thing keeping him in Midian was his mindset; he needed to exercise courage to break free from the prison of his mind. Moses rejected the voices of the past and with faith moved toward his future. He lived a life of power, adventure, challenge, and purpose. His wife gained in her respect for him and his sons honored him. Dad had taken off the shepherd clothes and put on the mantle of deliverer. Life was worth living now because Moses had stopped settling and starting directing his life in concert with his potential. The past had lost its grip. Moses was free!
Judge Greg Mathis had a past. He grew up in the housing projects of Detroit, and as a teenager was well on his way to a life of crime. Mathis was a gang member who dropped out of school, was in and out of jail. But, as a promise to his dying mother, he vowed to change his ways. At age 18, he turned his life around, earning his GED, continuing on to college and earning a jurist doctorate degree. Despite tremendous obstacles and odds, Mathis became the youngest judge in Michigan’s history and was elected a Superior Court Judge for Michigan’s 36th District.
“It pains me to think of all the hurt that I caused my neighborhood, my community, my family,” said Mathis. “That’s why I’ve made a lifetime commitment to redeeming myself and changing my life and helping to inspire other street youth to redeem themselves and change their lives. With Judge Mathis, [Television show] I hope to reach even more people with my story and, hopefully, make an even bigger difference in the lives of others.” His past ran into his future and became his present.
Two monks belonged to a convent that did not believe in touching a woman. They were walking down a road one day toward a river they needed to cross to get to their convent. When they got to the river, they encountered a woman. The woman asked them to help her across. The monks looked at each other for a moment. Then one monk just picked up the woman and carried her across the river. He let her down and the two continued their journey.
About two miles down the road, the monk who had done nothing said to the one who had carried the woman. You know that we are not allowed to touch a woman, why did you pick up that woman? The monk who helped replied, “I put that woman down nearly 2 miles ago.” If anyone is still carrying her, it is you, not me.” And with that he continued walking.