Best of 2011: Which is Bigger?
As 2011 draws to a close, I'm taking a bit of a breather from my thrice-weekly blog schedule. But do not fear! For your reading pleasure I will be sharing 5 classic posts from the archives. May you enjoy an old favourite or find a new one in the process. :)*~*~
From April 29, 2011
Then [Samuel] brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they had looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” ~1 Samuel 10:21-22 (NLT)
Saul, who stood head and shoulders above everyone else (1 Sam. 9:2, 10:23), did not exactly have an auspicious official start to his kingship. Hiding amongst the baggage?! And this was after God had confirmed His call on Saul’s life through the fulfillment of the signs the prophet Samuel had outlined to Saul (1 Samuel 10:2-9).
And how often we do the same. Granted, I can’t speak for your situation, but I can say I have a pretty hefty pile of baggage I like to hide behind. There are things I’d like to do, things I believe I’m meant to be doing and I know I’m meant to be doing, but oh, there are so many reasons for me not to be doing them.
Motherhood? Yes, well, that sounds great but I’m approaching 40 and am getting a little old for such things, wouldn’t you say? The medical profession certainly does a good job of wigging me out in part . . . O_o
Writing full-time? Yes, well, that would be lovely but maybe I’m to keep my day job (my tent making, if you will). Plus I’m not terribly disciplined in how I use my free time and perhaps this is just meant to be a side project or a hobby. That is, if I’m in God’s will and/or doing it with right motives in any way, shape or form.
Teaching kids? Yes, I’m currently doing that, but again with the discipline thing. And there are so many things I really can’t teach them about well because I’ve messed up so much myself.
I could paraphrase Saul’s plea (for he does sound almost bewilderedly desperate) to Saul in 1 Samuel 9:2 to fit myself quite nicely: “But I’m only the middle child from a prairie farm family, I am small, and the least important of them all! Why are you talking like this to me?”
I think I can almost hear God chuckle (but with mercy and grace – He’s God, after all). Here is why: Because God doesn’t look at us and see us merely as we currently are. He sees us, crouching behind all our excuses, as He has called us out to be. Think about Saul’s successor – David. He didn’t focus on the fact he was the youngest and the smallest in his family. He kept his focus on the bigness of his God. And what about Saul? Why was he so focused on doing his own thing, often under the guise of ‘it’s what the people want’? The following verse is telling:
And Samuel told [Saul],” Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD has anointed you king of Israel.” ~1 Samuel 15:17 (NLT)
I’m not trying to reduce Saul’s choices to a neat and tidy pop psychology analysis. But his view of him self certainly did not help. And his focus, it would seem, was not on the bigness of his God, but on pleasing the people and his own inadequacies.
So you and I have a choice. Do we focus on our own inadequacies or on the bigness of the God who has called us? Do we kick down the piles of baggage, the excuses we’re hiding behind and step out into the wild, bold, amazing plans God has for our lives? Or do we stay crouched down and hidden? It's something to think about.
*Photo Credit: p_a_h (Flickr via Creative Commons)