Best of Daily Reflections: Holy Ground, Part 4 - Barefoot at Work
“Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground."
When Moses approached the burning bush, God told him to keep his distance and to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. What made this ground holy? It was not some recognized shrine, a temple known for its numinous mystery. Rather, the space around the burning bush was holy because God chose to make his presence known there. Holiness did not belong to the ground, but to God who made it holy.
So it is with our holy places. Most of us can think of places in this world that are special because people have experienced God there in a powerful way. Laity Lodge, the retreat center in the Texas Hill Country, is such a place. Over the years, hundreds upon hundreds of people have sensed God’s presence at Laity Lodge and been transformed by his grace. To be sure, the natural beauty and quiet of Laity Lodge contribute to its specialness, as does the hospitality embedded in its design and embodied in its staff. But what makes Laity Lodge truly holy is not something that belongs to the space itself. Rather, it all depends on the fact that God has chosen to make himself known there. Wherever God is, that is holy ground.
This means that all of the places in your life are holy places. If God is in you, then the ground upon which you stand is holy ground. This is true not just of your church or your home, but also your workplace. In a very real sense, your place of work is holy ground because God is there. And even though God probably won’t manifest himself through a burning bush in your office, he will make his presence known through you. So perhaps you should go barefoot at work . . . metaphorically speaking!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are you ever aware of God’s presence in your workplace? When? How might you be more attuned to God’s presence there, besides literally taking off your shoes? What might God want to do through you today as you stand on holy ground?
PRAYER: Gracious God, I thank you for places where you make your presence known in a special, obvious way. Thank you for the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, for the common room of Straus Hall, for the High Sierra mountains, for the deserted beaches of the Pacific Ocean, and for Laity Lodge.
But, even as I thank you for these special places where you have revealed yourself to me, I thank you that, in a sense, wherever I am is a holy place because you are there. Thank you for making holy places of airports, coffee bars, offices, and classrooms. Help me, Lord, to remember that you are always present. May I pay attention to you and what you’re doing, even and especially when I’m in places that are so obviously holy. Let every place I am be a holy place, where you reveal yourself to me and through me to others. Amen.