Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Caught Up In Appearances

Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, 
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see, 
because man sees the appearance 
but the LORD looks into the heart (1 Sam. 16:7)

We'll, we're more than halfway through Lent, so us procrastinators better start to buckle down and get serious about it. Now what should I give up? Actually, for me, this Lent has been very spiritually productive, especially in my contemplating God's plan and trying to be less bogged down by my own struggles and falling into self pity from thinking how hard I must have it. Last Sunday's readings were exactly what I needed (they usually are) to help keep me on course in my Lenten journey.

 Whenever I hear the account of David being chosen from among his brothers, I can't help but think of this. That's what having children...or at least the mind of one will do. In the Veggietales version, young David is given the Sisyphean task from his brothers of propping up their ever-falling sheep. He was the youngest of eight, and as we know, s**t flows downhill. David had no shot at his father's inheritance and probably resigned himself to the fact he'd be tending the flock for the rest of his life. Little did he know God's plan would be beyond his wildest imagination.

 I'm sure we all feel this way from time to time - I know I do often. We get discouraged by our daily labor and lost in the darkness of self-pity. Then we run the danger of getting caught up in appearances as Samuel did. He saw the oldest brother as big, strong, and handsome and figured he was prime king material. However, while man judges appearances, God judges the heart. He calls us to see His plan that is far beyond our routines and what we can see on the surface. Our struggles are temporary, but God wants us forever. 

My friend Kevin mentioned the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Yoda chastises Luke for judging him but his stature and appearance. He's looking beyond the odd little green guy in the swamp to find the great Jedi Master, which is a great comparison to the scripture. The people of Jesus' time also looked beyond the simple carpenter for their great Messiah, not realizing the great I AM was in their midst.  

We've been praying the St. Padre Pio Novena together as a family. I'd like too close with part a prayer from that Novena which he composed for confidence and trust in God's Mercy. 

O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence 
and trust in Your divine mercy, 
and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings
 which bring immense goodness to our souls 
and that of Your Church.

Of course now I'll never get this image out of my mind when I read Samuel. Have a blessed week.

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