Last week I stood where Moses stood, looking out upon the Promised Land from the top of Mount Nebo.
It was from this mountaintop in Jordan that Moses saw the land he worked so hard to reach but would never enter. And it was there I stood on my own two feet, awed by the vast, desolate landscape unfolding before me.
Even though I’ve worked for St. Anthony Messenger Press for only 14 months, I still found myself thinking, “Hey, these are my friars! This is my turf!” as I explored the site.
Moses didn’t have such a feeling – or if he did, it was short-lived. I like to think that even though he didn’t get into the physical Promised Land, he’s in the spiritual one now.
It’s amazing to see this land of milk and honey and realize immediately that there is neither milk nor honey readily available! Instead, it’s arid earth, not particularly inviting, leading into the salty Dead Sea. (The myriad shades of brown match nicely with the Franciscan habit!)
What did Moses think when he looked down from the mountain? What did he feel? Did what he saw meet his expectations? Did he cry tears of joy or sob from the relief of finally being there? Or, was he scared, wondering what he would do next?
To some degree, we all have our own Mount Nebo. We all have goals and dreams for which we work, and sometimes the completion of those goals doesn’t meet with our imagined outcomes.
I can think of a few big challenges in my own life, and I certainly need faith and God’s grace to make it to my personal version of the Promised Land.
What has been a Mount Nebo for you? What deserts are you trying to cross? What mountains are you trying to climb?