Samuel 24: 3-21
Mark 3: 13-19
What do you think of shortcuts? That was the question that arose in my mind as I was reading this morning’s very exciting account of the confrontation between David and King Saul. David was on the run because King Saul, convinced that David was trying to bring him down, was after him with 3,000 hand-picked men. As you recall, the prophet Samuel had been instructed by God to anoint David as King of Israel, which, of course, he did. Saul, the current king of Israel, did not look kindly upon this judgment on his kingship. In fact, he was convinced that David wanted to do him harm and depose him as king. So he fully intended to end the threat by killing David.
David, however, had no intention of deposing Saul. He had a deep love and respect for Saul, and Jonathan, Saul’s son, was David’s closest friend. So, David had fled with a few men loyal to him and was hiding in the deepest part of a cave.
As fate would have it, it is that very cave that Saul used to take care of his personal need. It was the perfect chance for David to kill the unsuspecting Saul. But, David would not kill his good friend so he just cut off a small piece of Saul’s cloak.
After Saul left the cave, David confronted him, showed him the piece David had cut from his cloak, and assured Saul that he was loyal to him and would never harm him. Saul, realizing that David could have killed him had he wished, became convinced of David’s loyalty. The wound between them was healed.
David chose not to take a short cut. He decided to keep his integrity, remain faithful to his good friend, Saul, and trust that God would accomplish His will at the proper time.
What about us? Are we willing to be patient and wait for God to set the timetable for us? Or, are we often looking for a short cut to accomplish our goals? This story about David and Saul invites us to think about our own willingness to wait for the Lord. As you know, David didn’t always avoid taking a short-cut. But, in today’s reading, David shows us how important it is to wait for the Lord.
Fr. Michael Higgins, C.P. is the director the Development Office for Holy Cross Province and is stationed at Immaculate Conception Community in Chicago.