Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’ Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.’ Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from t1hat day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. –1 Samuel 16:6-13
David was handsome as was Saul, perhaps not as tall. Also, both men’s stories are told with the knowledge of hindsight. David succeeded far beyond expectations so his childhood stories become the source of legend while Saul remains forever on the rubble pile of lost causes. Identifying the right person at the right time matters as does training and experience which David gained as Saul’s general. I learned how to supervise from some very good supervisors and how not to supervise from some poor ones. Although I have a degree in social work administration including classes well taught, I learned the good side of supervision first hand from working for and observing the manager of the restaurant in which I worked in high school and college.
Little is written about Saul’s relationship with God. David’s is well documented and very true to human experience. It runs the gamut from total ecstasy to total shame, turning a blind eye to some behavior, experiencing the freeing nature of forgiveness, and knowing the comfort of resting in the arms of God at life’s transitions.
There is nothing that is more important than our building and growing and nurturing our relationship with God. Nothing. Everything else we touch in the world when we are in sync with God is influenced by the love of God. We may not see these positive outcomes. Keeping account of our successes takes time away from more important duties. Now learning from our mistakes is a different matter altogether.
Prayer: God who is love, abide with us as we worked toward creating a world ruled by your love. Help us learn from both our successes and failures and help us enable one another to be our best. Amen.