We use our past to prepare for our future

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some of the most memorable and meaningful moments in life are the ones we did not plan for.

Often they come at times when we least expect them and are most inconvenient. How does one prepare for unanticipated opportunities?

As young man David was given the mission of refurbishing his brothers with food and other supplies while they were at the battle front, a task that perhaps as a young man always looking for adventure he embraced.

To his surprise, when he arrived on the field of battle he did not find valiant warriors but rather an army self-confined to their tents driven by fear not of the opposing army but of their strongman, Goliath. David, astonished by this scene before him, challenged the mighty soldier Goliath.

Rejecting the king's army and weaponry he picked up his sling, the weapon of familiarity and choice, to bring down the warrior. How did someone who was too young, inexperienced and ill-equipped stand victorious over such tremendous odds?

He was driven by principle. David stood on the edge of the battlefield amazed at the army's surrender to fear and its unwillingness to act on faith. Even though he was young, David stood not on his skill, arrogance or experience but on principle that God is able to intervene and deliver.

The best action or inaction is built upon the uncompromised foundation of principle.

His past prepared him for the present. David was criticized by the king for his inexperience and youth. His response was not only one of faith but one that drew upon his experience as a shepherd defending his sheep against the attacks of lions and bears.

Sheep herding is not the most glorious career. A shepherd spends long hours of solitude absent from the comforts of home trying to protect animals whose IQ falls a few degrees short of a rock. This lonely, monotonous and no doubt boring career prepared him for the day of battle.

Glorious opportunities may come before us when we least expect them.

God providentially opens doors of opportunity placing us in the position to act on principle, faithfully using our abilities in the present to meet those challenges.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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