1 Samuel 9:5-6
“Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!” But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something!
In 1954 a milkshake salesman named Ray Krok was traveling the country trying to sale his “Milk Shake Multi-Mixer.” Sales were plummeting, so it got Ray’s attention when a burger stand in San Bernadino California purchased eight of his multi-mixers.
The multi-mixer was able to make eight shakes at a time, so Kroc assumed the order had to be a mistake. Who needed to make 64 milkshakes at a time? It wasn’t a mistake though, so Kroc decided he had to see what kind of establishment needed to make all those milkshakes.
When he arrived Kroc was blown away by the taste of the food and the efficiency of the operation, so he convinced Richard and Maurice Mcdonald to franchise their store, and in 1955 the second ever Mcdonald’s opened in Des Plaines Illinois.
When Kroc died in 1984, there were 7500 Mcdonalds locations, in 31 countries, grossing over $8 billion in sales. Today, there are 36,899 Mcdonald’s all over the world. And it all started with a trip to California to sell milkshake mixers.
At some level, everyone wants a story like that, not to own a Mcdonalds franchise, I mean we all want a defining moment that changes our life. We want to invent something that takes us from our dead-end job to an episode of QVC. We want to write the hit song or the hit book that takes us from a nobody to a somebody, but how does it happen. Is it completely random, a mere series of life coincidences? Are some people destined for success from birth because they hit the DNA jackpot? And what role does God play in all of it? Is there anything we can do to increase the chances we will experience a life-changing moment in our lifetime?
In 1 Samuel 9 Saul experienced a life-changing moment. While on a mission to retrieve his father’s missing donkeys, his servant had an idea to visit the prophet Samuel and ask for help. It turned out to be a great idea, actually it was a God idea, but what intrigues me most is the timing of it all.
Why do we get ideas when we do? Where does inspiration come from?
In order to appreciate verse 9, you have to read the first four verses of 1 Samuel 9 and notice what usually goes unnoticed in life.
Saul’s father, Kish, was wealthy so when his donkeys go missing, you might assume a donkey retrieval mission is a job more fitting for a minimum wage employee, not his handsome, athletic son. I have four small children, and I know the reaction I receive when I ask them to do things they don’t want to do, so I can only imagine a young man as stellar as Saul would roll his eyes and huff and puff when asked to do something so unimportant, but he doesn’t. Instead, he takes his servant and leaves immediately.
After searching four different towns, leaving no stone unturned, Saul finally decides it’s time to return home, and that’s when it happens: His servant has an idea. It would have been nice if the servant could’ve had this idea before they wasted a week searching for the missing donkey’s, but that’s not the way ideas work. Inspiration seems to happen to people who have perspiration and desperation.
God’s will for your life is not a treasure map; you don’t know the final destination before you begin the journey. Instead, God’s will is like a scavenger hunt, He gives you just enough direction to make it to the first location, and upon arrival, you get enough information to take another step. It’s more frustrating that way but requires more faith, which is the point.
It wasn’t Saul’s muscles or his father’s money that put him in a position to meet Samuel; it was his submission and work ethic. He was willing to go on a donkey mission and give his best effort when he would probably have rather been home watching Netflix.
Finding donkeys is never about finding donkeys it’s about finding out what’s in your heart. Your ability to work hard at things you’re not excited about it creates opportunities to get to do things you are excited about. And if you’re willing to do what you don’t want to do with a good spirt, one day, probably in a place you don’t expect, at a time you couldn’t predict, God connects the dots, and your life ends up better than you ever imagined.
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