Though I got the idea from a video on TED.com, the tagline I use for my blog actually originates from the story of Moses. Many bible students and religious types know what I’m referring to. For those with less prior knowledge, I’ll briefly explain.
God appointed Moses to a major leadership position, but Moses was afraid of the challenge. He worried that people would reject him, and he offered the excuse that he was not an eloquent speaker. Among God’s replies to Moses’s fears were:
Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and teach you what to say. Ex 4:11-12
What is that in your hand?…. take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it. Ex 4:2 & 17
When God asked Moses “What is that in your hand” (it was a staff) He told Moses to throw it on the ground, and Moses’s staff became a snake. God then told Moses to grab the snake by the tail, and it became a staff again.
With the staff, God showed Moses (and us) that we all already hold great power in our hands. We just have to recognize it and use it.
So why the tagline for my blog? As I watched Rick Warren’s Ted Talk on my laptop in a tiny room in Oakland, California and he repeated the question “What’s in your hand,” I realized I literally had a pen in my hand. I didn’t have to make a figurative connection to what I do every day. The sign was literal and blunt, hitting me over the head yet again.
And yes, I believe in signs. My first year in architecture school at Mississippi State a classmate told me, “You should just drop out of architecture and become a writer.” I thought she was crazy, but a year or so later (you guessed it) I switched my major from architecture to English.
Of course, like Moses, merely knowing what to do didn’t make the doing easy. There was (is?) fear every step of the way. When starting this blog, I too worried about rejection and lack of eloquence. I’m learning to trust that if the Spirit moves me to say something, He will help me speak and teach me what to say.
With love, from Sarah L. Webb
What’s in your hand?