“Get Her For Me”
“All human beings hold the tools of their own destruction.”
Is there a time in my life when I demanded that I “get” something I wanted, only later to find out that my obstinate and self-centered demands were not within God’s plan for my life?
“The success of life, the formation of character, is in proportion to the courage one has to say to one’s ownself: ‘Thou shalt not.’”
“This body of ours has one fault: the more you indulge it, the more things it discovers to be essential to it. It is extraordinary how it likes being indulged.”
Teresa of Avila
This past week, I began one of my annual rituals, “Summer Cleaning.” I attempt each week, to clean one closet in the house at a time, beginning with my own. To my credit, I do take very good care of my things. And thankfully, this makes it possible for me to get significant wear out of the clothes I have purchased. However, as I went through the hangers that held different blouses, dresses and jackets in my closet, I found myself saying, “What in the world possessed me to purchase this!”
As I held up several items, I remembered that when I saw the piece in the store, I thought I absolutely had to have the item, and yet, months later, I was trying to figure out what it was I liked about the piece of clothing.
Unfortunately, we as humans can be a fickle group that don’t just change their minds about a piece of clothing but do the same with human relationships. When the newness has worn off and the sparkle has faded, we cast away what is no longer pleasing. When someone or something doesn’t catch our attention and makes us cry out, “I have to have ‘it’ – whatever that ‘it’ happens to be, it is tossed away as useless to us.
In the life of Samson, we find a young man who was born into a family of devoted, older parents. Unable for years to have a child, I’m certain when the promised blessing entered their lives Samson’s mom and dad heaped a great deal of attention on their only child – maybe too much attention. For it appears that somewhere along the line, Samson began to portray a very ego-centric, even arrogant nature. With profound strength and good looks – he became everybody’s fair haired boy. He was the chosen. The deliverer. And the attention went straight to his head.
In his noted play, Henry IV, William Shakespeare penned these famous words, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” and Samson would have done well to remember that his calling was a heavenly one from God not some earthly enlistment as the result of a popularity contest.
Apparently, having gotten his way in the past, after surveying Timnah, Samson, instead of keeping his eye on God’s Will, decided there was only one thing that required his attention, and the “it” was a “her.”
For a moment ladies, I want to speak directly to you, for I believe nearly every woman I know will be able to relate to what I’m saying. As women, it’s very flattering to become the focal point of a gentleman’s attention. Having a man make it clear you are the “apple of his eye” and the “center of his world” is not only pleasant, it can be dizzying. Having flowers and candy showered on you by an attentive man can make your day. But we need to remember, as in the case of Samson, not all men’s motives will give us what God has in mind, not that flowers and candy aren’t sweet gifts. I love every flower my Jim has given me. But I know the heart of the man that’s behind these gifts. When Jim and I were dating, he didn’t have a dime. He had a good job but he was “working for God” and his place of employment didn’t pay a lot. There wasn’t money left over for wooing. Instead, we spent time studying the Bible, walking on the beach, hiking in the mountains and learning to recognize those deeper heavenly gifts implanted in our hearts – gifts that are the foundation of relationships that weather the torrents life dishes out. Unfortunately, the girl in Timnah probably thought she had struck gold when the hero of Israel set his cap for her and demanded, “Get her for me!” She was elevated to a place of honor for she was the desire of Samson. Sadly, she had no idea what a disaster she was getting into.
And to all God’s sons, who come to the garden, remember there are always plenty of girls in Timnah who are attractive to the eye and can divert your attention from God’s purpose for your life, too. The fact is, the woman in Timnah may have been a wonderful girl but she wasn’t in God’s plan for Samson. Hooking up with someone or something when we are out of focus can be a huge mistake. I know, for it has happened to me during my life. Our focus can get blurred by false promises, false gold and false gods. When this happens, our choices can be off target and will absolutely lead us in the wrong direction. We can count on it!
Let us gain heavenly insight from the works of poet and essayist, W.H. Auden who penned these instructional words: “No man (or woman) can do properly what he (she) is called upon to do in this life unless he (she) can learn to forget his (her) ego and act as an instrument of God.”
“There never has been, and cannot be, a good life without self-control.”
“Arise, O sun of righteousness, upon us, with healing in thy wings; make us children of the light and of the day. Show us the way in which we should walk, for unto thee, O Lord, do we lift up our souls. Dispel all mists of ignorance which cloud our understandings. Let no false suggestion either withdraw our hearts from the love of they truth, or from the practice of it in all the actions of our lives; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thomas Sherlock, 1678-1761
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