Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
1 Samuel 15:10-23 (NRSV)
The word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands.” Samuel was angry; and he cried out to the LORD all night. Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, and Samuel was told, “Saul went to Carmel, where he set up a monument for himself, and on returning he passed on down to Gilgal.” When Samuel came to Saul, Saul said to him, “May you be blessed by the LORD; I have carried out the command of the LORD.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of cattle that I hear?” Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the cattle, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night.” He replied, “Speak.”
Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. And the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But from the spoil the people took sheep and cattle, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.” And Samuel said,
“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obedience to the voice of the LORD?
Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is no less a sin than divination,
and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
I wonder how many times I have disappointed God, turning away from the clear path set before me. Sometimes I’m good at dabbling or sticking my toe in to see how involved a job might be. How big of a commitment would be required? How much of me am I willing to turn over to this task? We all know there are a multitude of tasks in our churches, homes, workplaces, schools, relationships. Our lives can be an endless series of daunting to-do lists.
I know my heart belongs to God. In fact, many times my heart is quick to volunteer, but my head complicates things. My heads tells my mouth to shut up and sit tight, that maybe someone else will step up and take care of the need. Sometimes my head wins, and no ground is gained…but sometimes my heart speaks louder, and I move in the direction that leads me to action…doing good work I wish I had started sooner. When I hear myself say out loud, “If I had just done the right thing in the first place, it would have been so much easier” then I know God and my heart have won.
Thanks be to God for times when we put our selfishness aside and do God’s work. Help us to be encouraged and inspired to do more. Amen.
Go with God.