We used to have a car that had what’s called a “manual transmission.” To the left of the brake pedal, there is another one called a “clutch.” When the driver pushes down on that pedal, all the gears in the car separate and are ready for the next gear to connect with the engine. The car is in what is called, “neutral.” The car is coasting at that point. Occasionally when I drove, I would release the clutch before the gears fully separated. A loud grinding noise would happen, reminding me to push the clutch down again.
I like to see the brief moments when the car is in neutral as pauses we need to make at the end of one activity and the beginning of the other. For me, this is a time for brief prayer, reminding me that the forward movement of my life gets its energy from the Holy Spirit whom I want to be the driver in my life.
In today’s reading, Saul and the Israelites are grinding their gears, as it were, because the thoughts and feelings of Saul were all jamming together; he did not go into “neutral” where he could pause, praise God and ask God for direction for God’s people. Samuel, on the other hand, never forgot to pray. He often kept himself in “neutral,” praying for God’s people to make up for their lack of prayer.
When you pause to pray to God, pray for your family, friends and those who don’t have anyone to pray for them. This earnest prayer will be doing just what Samuel did. “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23)
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Tuesdays are dedicated to the Old Testament books of history
and the Hebrew “Writings.”
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