I found myself heading to the hardware store the other day and after an hour of perusing the store, I headed home. When I got home, I realized I came home with a couple things I needed, but not the item that propelled me to the hardware store in the first place. Have you ever done that?
I consider myself a driven person and someone who doesn’t like to sit still long. This usually means my conversations with people start with the thing I need and then eventually I get around to asking how they’re doing. It also means I’m a really good mono-tasker and a terrible multi-tasker. I’ll get my mind set on one thing and be completely oblivious to anything else around me. Just ask my wife.
Why am i saying all this? Well, it leads me to a story.
In 1 Samuel 9, Israel is about to get their first ever King. As we all now know, that King would be a guy name Saul. The interesting thing about the story is how Saul finds out he’s gonna be King. Basically, his dad loses a pair of donkey’s and sends Saul and his servant to look for them. The task. After searching through a couple towns the servant tells Saul that there is a prophet in a nearby town who can tell them where the donkey’s are. So Saul and his servant seek out Samuel. Let’s pick it up there. 1 Samuel 9:18-20
18 Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart.20 As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”
Did you catch it? Basically he said, stop worrying about the donkeys, this whole nation is about to have it’s eyes on you as the new KING. I know you thought you were coming to find me so i could tell you where a couple donkeys are roaming, but actually I have a completely different, out in left field, mind-blowing message for you. You’re going to be the King of Israel. Keep in mind, there has NEVER been a King in Israel. This is a first. Our God is a God who is always doing unprecedented things.
This story spoke to me a few ways. First off, could it be that my agenda is far to small for God? Could it be that I’m so focused on some small goal, small problem, small offense, small task, that I’m missing something really big that God has for me. OR maybe I’m so focused on the past and what God was to me 10 years ago that I’ve forgotten that He is always doing NEW things? Now, I’m pretty sure that God is NOT calling me to be the president of the US, but in His kingdom what does he want with me? Are my eyes and ears open to His calling OR am I so focused on what I THINK my calling is, that I’m missing Him? I’m asking these questions right now. I know alot of my personal agendas have to do with my identity…..I need to do this cause I am this (or atleast I see myself as this). I’m a musician. I should make music. I’m a suburb living father of 3 so I like yardwork, bbq’s, and smalltalk with my neighbors. My ministry should look like this cause it’s comfortable and what I know. C.S. Lewis had it right in his book “the weight of glory”:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Father, may my only ambition be to know You and walk in Your ways. Free me from my preconceived notions of what my life should look like. Like Saul (1 Sam 10:9), give me a new heart for what You are calling me to. Give me Your heart.