Excerpt from 1 Samuel 9:27-10:8
“The spirit of the Lord will possess you…and you will be turned into a different person.”
Reflection by William C. Green
We ought to be something we’re not. I should be smarter, more thoughtful, not so impatient, more self-confident, less risk averse, not so concerned about the approval of others. The list is endless. We’re never enough. So it seems.
We turn into whatever we need to be when first we know that God is with us, just as we are. Saul remained Saul but with a difference when he could believe that despite his weakness and inadequacy the spirit of God was with him. In his case, he became king.
While hard to grasp, God’s presence is not as far from us as we may think. As with Saul, awareness of this makes a difference: looking ahead becomes a lot more promising. In the words of the lead character in Wendell Berry’s novel, Jayber Crow: “Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there…Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led – make of that what you will.”
Maybe we should quit thinking of all the ways we should be different and be glad for the difference God has already made. The grace that has led us this far is not through with us yet.
“Finish, then, thy new creation,” O God. Change us “from glory into glory, ’til in heaven we take our place.” Amen.
About the Author
William C. Green, a United Church of Christ minister, is the Director of Long Looking, a consultancy service specializing in fundraising and education for congregations. His new book, 52 Ways to Ignite Your Congregation: Generous Giving, has just been published.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9
“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”
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