Perhaps we need to understand something about the sanctity of each of our lives and each of our stories! Your life is both a message to be illustrated and a ministry to be manifested – Your journey is but a microcosm of the macro story powered by the Almighty – I’ve been musing about the story of David and King Saul found in 1 Samuel chapter 24 again –
One man is in pursuit of another. Saul is angry with David (the one who killed Goliath)! With David’s growing popularity and rising influence on the national and international scene, the young David found himself running from the old man, the old leader, the man of the status quo, ever more infuriated. The old man is not ready to pass the torch in honorable ways: He had a fear and an anger, and managed his life around that fear and anger. So many a time, transitions fail because one generation of leadership is unwilling to leave power when the time is up, for selfish reasons or fail to properly manage themselves in those critical moment of deep change.
After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
We find David in the Crags of the Wild Goats in the wildernes, in exile, away from the old man. Saul is closing in, ever so near. As fate has it, Saul went in a cave to relieve himself. Unbeknown to him, David and his strong men were far back in the cave, ready to strike. David’s special force unit gave him the honor to destroy the old man for ever and take over the throne and the crown. So, David crept up to Saul, unnoticed. But conscience-stricken, he could not lay his hand on his fierce enemy who was at his most vulnerable space, uncovered and without any body guards around. What he thought was a very private act in a cave was in fact a very public act. Hmm… the naked emperor. David cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Saul did not even notice that a corner of his robe was cut off!
I am struck by David’s restrictive hand. I wonder what disciplines led this man to exercise so much restraint, candor and good will in times like these. What operating principles might have governed this man’s life such that he would manifest so much show of force in the presence of so much hostility? It is very easy to diminish our lives around the Saul(s) of our lives, those who might be hostile towards us, those who have no interest and good-will in contributing such that we would reach our full potential. It is possible to focus the energy of our lives to stifle every voice of decent against us. Evidently, many have hired themselves to this dysfunctional life ! Perhaps David was beyond that, he knew that there is a show of force that is greater than raw killing power instinct. Could it be that:
- David understood something about friendship we might need to learn – Boy! If this man can show such kindness towards his enemy who is ‘bent on harming’ him, what might be expected of him, had it been his friend? –
- David understood something about the law of the farm, and that is, “you reap what you sow” – Perhaps deep in his soul, David knew he would be king someday when space becomes natural and he needed not force himself to the throne, crown and proclaim himself the total authority and king over the people. He understood that how one gets to the throne is as important as being established king. He would entrust himself to God to establish his right to rule and his dominion not to raw force.
- David understood something about Honoring the ‘anointed’ that we need to learn when he says “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD. – Perhaps he understood something about the sanctity of each life and each story! you are ‘anointed!’ – Perhaps we need to understand something about the sanctity of each lives and each stories! Your life is both a message to be illustrated and a ministry to be manifested – Your journey is but a microcosm of the macro story powered by the Almighty
Sitting in my own cave, nursing my wounds, musing about the symbols and metaphors of my own life, cradling God’s word, I crave something so deep and so eternal – I live between two mythical cities – the temporal has lost its grip on me – Drawing from memory (Oh! the dark tears of Babylon!); igniting imagination (Oh! the wiping of every tear in the valleys of the New Jerusalem!); rethinking symbols and metaphors of victimism or victory from past and future, reflecting the Glory of God in me, infinite script, singing the old song of the redeemed by the mythical rivers of Babylon where we sat down in that strange land where the wicked carried us away in captivity and requiring from us a song. Oh, may my soul sing and live it out-loud ! “We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome, someday! Oh, Deep in my soul, I do believe, We shall overcome someday!” And right there, on the horizon, I see the lines of the golden city and its’ mythical river! From Babylon to Jerusalem, I now sing the eternal song of freedom: Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I am free at last –
So, Christmas 2010 is long gone now – Under the shadow of the horizons of yet another year thundering in, I still find comfort and hope in the words of Christ our Redeemer, conveyed and proclaimed by the angels, immortalized through Calvary: 1) Do not be afraid 2) you will conceive 3) you have found favor with God 4) nothing will be impossible with God.
I still wonder what my life is in response to, these days. I wonder what economy might be fueling the energy of my life – I wonder what the rhythm of my life says about me – I wonder what a renewed understanding of the sanctity of my life and my story may produce, what fruit (if any) might grow or fail to grow! What kingdom value might profoundly manifest as I offer my humble life away and welcome others to witness its’ twists and turns. Thanks for the journey!