As I was driving home the other day, a car swerved quickly in front of me, cutting me off and missing me by an inch. I was furious and honked my horn. The driver stuck their hand out of the window and flashed an obscene gesture at me. Road rage was beginning to set in so I attempted to dismiss the incident and continued driving en route to an errand at the local supermarket. I was already preoccupied by the tragic events of the day. Wildfires were raging out of control in Northern and Southern California. My nephew was attending college in an area where the fires were raging and the radio just announced the indefinite cancellation of classes and possible evacuation of the campus and dormitories. Alarmed, I grabbed my cell phone and attempted to call him. However, I did this while driving through the supermarket parking lot. I slammed on my brakes when, out of the corner of my eye, a familiar sight crossed my path. It was a young family with a baby stroller. They glared at me as I nearly hit them, distracted by using my cell phone. I was distracted-by the rude driver, by the fires, and by my concern for my nephew.
Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.
1 Samuel 10:8 (ESV)
Distractions are part of life and the Bible records many incidents. King Saul was instructed by the priest Samuel to wait seven days until he arrived so that he could perform the offerings and sacrifices to God, that only a priest was allowed to perform. But King Saul grew impatient. He was to lead his army in war against the Philistines and wanted God’s blessings. This was a noble desire. But he was unwilling to wait and took matters into his own hands, disobeying God’s commands.
He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering.
1 Samuel 13:8-9 (ESV)
I am not condoning the actions of King Saul. He was wrong and he sinned. But too often, I am quick to judge and fail to place myself in the situations of others. I can imagine the frustration, perhaps even desperation, that Saul experienced as he waited for Samuel. “I need to go to battle. I need God’s blessings. My people are depending upon me. Where is Samuel? Maybe he won’t come in time? What should I do?” He was distracted and he sinned. I was distracted and I sinned and the result was nearly disastrous.
How desperately I need God’s continual presence through His Holy Spirit to keep my life aligned with Him.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.