"And Samuel said unto all Israel, ‘Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and gray-headed; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am.'"
I Samuel 12: 1-3, King James Version
"The State of a Life"
"When you spread your life around rather than hoarding it, then the great light becomes visible within you."
If I were to look over my life, how would I sum up the legacy of the life I've lived?
"O God, thou knowest that I do not want anything else but to serve Thee, always all my life."
"Is your place a small place?
Tend it with care—
He set you there.
Is your place a large place?
Guard it with care -
He set you there.
Whatever your place, it is
Not yours alone,
But His Who set you there."
He was an old man. As long as many of the Israelites could remember, Samuel had been there - for advice…for counsel…for spiritual leadership.
But now, the Israelites thought, that in the face of old age, someone young, handsome, energetic and fierce could better represent their interests as they negotiated with the Canaanites.
So Samuel gathered the people together for what I call a "State of the Life" address.
He asked all of the people to review his dealings with them. Had he taken money to enrich himself? The answer was "No!" Had he lived a life selfishly, focused on himself and his needs? The answer was, "No!" Had he been faithful all his life, putting the needs of the people under his care before his own? The answer was emphatically, "Yes!"
As Samuel spoke, he reminded the Israelites in these powerful words: "It is the Lord that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt" (I Samuel 12: 6). Then he continued with a detailed history lesson reminding the Israelites of the victories that were theirs when, "The Lord your God was your king" (I Samuel 12: 12).
With great sadness he acknowledged that now the people wanted their own king. In essence they had rejected God's leadership. At this point God could have informed them that they were on their own but instead Samuel reassured God's children that if they singularly focused their hearts on God, He would be with them. All God wanted for His children, and for you and me, is that first we have a heart totally dedicated to our Father which will then lead us to have a heart for others. A heart of kindness, generosity and love. A heart that says, "You matter to me. I care for you."
Many years ago I read a short story that exemplifies the unselfish life of Samuel and his longing to care for those who were blessed to be under his servant leadership: The story is of a young girl walking along a beach where thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, "Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can't save all these starfish. You can't begin to make a difference!"
The girl seemed surprised and deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, ‘Well, I made a difference to that one.'"
As Samuel stood up to speak to God's children, whether he affected the lives of many or few was not his goal. Instead, he kept his focus on his Father throughout his life - he had made a difference. This was the "State of His Life."
"If we made God a little more real than otherwise He would be to any single human being, we have not wasted our little lives in a large world or lived in vain."
William L. Sperry
A Prayer of Confession
"Death is fear, lies, hate, envy, avarice, greed, lust, pride, destructiveness, violence and cruelty.
Save us from death.
Life is love, truth, courage, laughter, giving, creativeness, tenderness, humility, kindness.
Give us life.
When we choose death instead of life.
To life - the life of Jesus."
St. Hilda Community
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
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