Book of Samuel: Dare To Be Different

This past week, we have been reading from the book of Samuel. If you are not familiar with the stories found in Samuel, please take some time to read Samuel. If you went to Catholic School, you heard these great stories — perhaps a long time ago. But they are so vivid, the minute you begin to read them, you can likely finish telling the story to everyone around you.
OK, well, that’s the impression these stories had on me.

In Friday’s reading, the people approached Samuel and said, “Now that you are old, and your sons do not wish to take your place, please choose a king for us.”

Samuel asked why. They replied, “we wish to be like other nations. We want to have a king to lead us, and to guide us in battle.”

Samuel was very unhappy to hear this. But God told Samuel, “Do what they ask. It is not you the people are rejecting, Samuel — it is Me they are rejecting.”

Samuel gave them “the low down” on what the future would look like with a king. Ehhh, not very nice.
Essentially, they would lose all of their possessions and become slaves of the new king.

Even still, the people approached Samuel and demanded. “Please choose a new king for us.”
later, in speaking with God, Samuel said. “I tried to tell them what would happen, but they would not listen.”

God said, “then give them what they desire.”

Even as far back as 2000 years ago, people had the overwhelming raging desire to “fit in.” They wanted to be like everyone else — they wanted to be like other nations. They wanted to be essentially, led by a slave driver and suffer mightily and have all their possessions taken from them. This included their children taken from them and turned into slaves as well. Butt-heads!

It must be something in our human nature to want to “fit in.” To wear the same clothes, the same designer glasses, the same cars, the same houses… the same life! What Samuel was trying to get across to his people is they did not need to be like other nations. They did not need an “earthly ruler” to overpower them. Samuel was trying to get across the idea his people were unique — they were special. They did not need to look like the others, or fit in.

Yet, vanity ruled their decision-making process. And they paid the price. But we do not have to pay the same price and make the same mistakes.

We ought to “dare to be different.” It is completely okay to take risks, and to follow a different path. What stops us from taking a different path?