Do you have a dream? A goal you’ve been working toward? A bucket list? I wonder if David in the Bible had a dream, a goal or even a bucket list? Did he dream of being a king? Did he practice his harp with the hope of playing in the palace? What would his bucket list have looked like? “Write a song. Kill bear with bare hands. Kill lion with bare hands. Heroically fight giant. Play harp for king. Be king. Build amazing temple for the one true God.”
Did his dreams seem out of reach and his goals impossible? Maybe he wrote his bucket list in his mind as he took care of his sheep that night when no one thought to even invite him to a very important dinner.
There he was. Again. Sheep all around him. The air was still as the sun slowly began to go down. Oh, the colors in the sky were brilliant and he praised his God for making such a beautiful sunset. He enjoyed his job, although he knew nothing else. He was very good at being a shepherd. He recalled the day that a bear came to take a sheep, but he took care of that bear with his own two hands. Nothing would mess with his sheep. He enjoyed the moments that were perfectly quiet and still. He just sat and thought about his God. His wonderful, good God, whom he loved so much. Some evenings he would make up songs to sing to his God. And poems about God’s goodness. He was glad for his job with the sheep and the time that it gave him to think about his God and just worship Him. But something deep inside of him wanted to do more than just take care of sheep. This evening especially.
His brothers had come by on their way to an important dinner. At least that’s what they had said. The man of God, Samuel, was coming by to choose one of them to be the next king of Israel. Who would it be? His brothers were so excited. Each one was sure that he would be the one to be chosen. But they didn’t even invite him. Away they ran to the dinner – leaving their youngest brother behind.
He heard the music up the hill. He thought about the food that would be served at this dinner. It would be a wonderful feast for the man of God. And he wondered which one of his brothers would be chosen. He wished he could have been there to see it. But he was here, taking care of the sheep.
Suddenly something broke the stillness of the evening. One of his father’s servants was running toward him. Was the dinner over? Which one of his brothers was chosen? He wondered as the young man came closer. Out of breath the servant spoke as quickly as he could. “You have to come to the dinner. The man of God, Samuel, said that the dinner will not go on without you. You have to come now.” He asked what was going on and the servant told him, “Samuel said that God has not chosen any of your brothers. Samuel was so confused. But then we told Samuel about you out here with the sheep. And Samuel wants you to come. Maybe God is choosing you to be the next king of Israel! It could be you! We have to go right now. It could be you, David!”
I don’t know if that’s exactly how it happened, but you know the rest of the story. Daniel was chosen to be the next king of Israel. But even though he was anointed as the next king, it was a very long time before he became the next king. Later he would play the harp in the palace – check that one off the bucket list. But then he would spend a lot of time running from King Saul – that one wasn’t on the bucket list – but God always protected him. And when he was king he had a goal that he wanted so much to accomplish. He wanted to build a temple for God. He drew plans and told his son all about them, even though he was not the one to build the temple.
As I think about David today, I think about so many people who have dreams and goals. And maybe even a bucket list. They have been working so hard to accomplish their goals even though it is taking a very long time. Years, in fact. But they keep on going. Maybe one of them is you.
I wonder, what if Samuel hadn’t listened to God, especially when he didn’t understand what was going on? He could have taken the easy way out and simply chosen the one who looked most like a king, although we know how that turned out with Saul.
What if David hadn’t made the most of his time with the sheep? He worshipped God and allowed God to prepare for him for more. Are you in a time of waiting? Maybe God is using this time to prepare you for more.
What if David hadn’t gone to the dinner? His brothers didn’t seem to think he was worth much. And apparently his parents didn’t think he would be a king. Are you listening to the right voices about who you are and what you are able to do? God knows you and He believes in you, even when others don’t.
So reach for your dream, work toward your goal, and make that bucket list. Who knows what will happen when you spend time with God as David did, work hard and keep on going!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord,” Jeremiah 29:11-14a NIV.