Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent.
We are nearing the end of our sermon series on spiritual practices in preparation for our church-wide study of the Gospel of Luke. This past week, Jayne’s sermon focused on the spiritual practice of “Stepping Away.” This Sunday the sermon will be all about Sabbath. Both challenge us to take time to get away from the busyness of the world for a time of quiet reflection and introspection to draw closer to Christ.
I must admit that much of my own reflection and prayer life is what I would call “on the run.” As someone who needs prayer comes to mind, I say a short prayer for them at that moment. When I need to ask God for wisdom for a difficult decision, strength to get me through the day, or just to give God thanks, I lift that prayer right then. Whether I am driving to the church, sitting at my desk, or relaxing at home.
Now there is nothing wrong with such prayers. God still hears and responds. Yet, sometimes we just need to intentionally get away from the busyness and clamor of the world and be totally focused on God. We need to give God our undivided attention—talk to Him when we are not distracted or in the midst of the rush of our life. We need to take that walk to the tent, like Moses.
The passage in Exodus tells the account of Moses when he needed to have a talk with God. He took that long walk to the tent of meeting, outside their camp. I am sure as he took that walk, he slowly unbound himself of the hubbub and commotion that was going on in the camp. He was leaving the distractions behind as he took each step. The people knew it, for they stood at their tent doors and watched. He ignored all their pleas of “Wait, Moses—I have a quick question for you.”
Moses was making that walk, intentionally and deliberately to meet with God. I’m sure there were people who needed tending to, tents that needed repair, camels that needed to be fed. But they could all wait for now. Moses had the discipline to walk away from them for the moment. He needed undisturbed time with God.
Don’t we all? But it is so hard to carve out time, or when we do, to not be distracted by our “To Do” list. That’s when we need to take that deliberate walk—the walk away from the noise of the world to the quietness of God. We need to make that walk to the tent.