“Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying, ‘Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel, that he may save My people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come to Me.’” 1 Samuel 9:15–16
Many men have earned for men in general the stereotype that we don’t like to ask for direction. Now not all men are hesitant to ask for help when it comes to finding our way. Not all of us are embarrassed to admit that we don’t always know where we’re going or how to find the places we’re looking for. In fact, I am one of those men that isn’t bashful about asking for help in finding my way. I hate wasting time and being late more than I dislike asking for directional assistance so it doesn’t take me very long before I’m asking someone for help.
And here’s the thing, in all the times I’ve ever asked for help no one has ever treated me like I was less intelligent because I needed to ask for directions. Everyone has to ask sometimes because no one knows where everything is.
Our account of the history of Israel has shifted its focus from the prophet Samuel to a young man named Saul and a servant who are out looking for three lost donkeys. They’ve been trekking for three days across a large stretch of Israelite territory with no success in getting word of their donkeys when Saul’s servant realizes that they’re near the home of someone that might know just where they ought to look. So they switch from looking for donkeys to looking for the prophet Samuel. And the story says that they have to ask for directions in order to find the man they can get directions from.
What happened next must have been a bit overwhelming for Saul. Samuel had been prepared by God the day before for Saul’s arrival. God had told him that he would meet the man he was to anoint as king and Samuel had prepared a meal to honor him. He was seated in the highest seat of honor and given the best portion of the meat prepared for the feast.
This was quite a turn for this foot sore man out looking for donkeys. No one expects special treatment for needing help because you can’t find what you’re looking for.
The next day Samuel told him that his donkeys have been found but only after he gives him and even greater surprise. Privately, just the two of them are there, Samuel has Saul kneel and he anoints him as king over Israel.
Saul found out that good things can happen when you ask for directions. It may be that you just find out how to find what you’re looking for, or how to get where you’re going or it may be that your life takes an unexpected and wonderful turn.
You and I will almost certainly never become kings because we asked for help but who knows what blessings await if we’ll pack up our pride, stow away our stubbornness, eject our embarrassment and just ask someone to point us in the right path.