I feel like a weakling struggling to write; fidgety and barely able to hold up a pen. Very much like a character in The Count Of Monte Christo who was cast in a dark dungeon and starved for years – unkempt, reeking of neglect, and now cringing and groping at first reacquaintance with light, fumbling my way back to the real world after serving a severe self-sentencing. The holidays have been my attempt at hiatus. I had emersed myself in deep reflections, self-appraisals and a search for new beginnings. Ever wondered about the paradox that is King Solomon? He was the son of Israel’s greatest king, David, and became a favorite of his father. He was the second child born after the illicit union of his parents. David, had been lazing around his home one day, nonchalantly rebelling his monarchal duties, and a series of events meticulously wove into a drama of Shakespearian grandeur. He spots a beautiful woman, Bathsheba1, bathing on her rooftop – a usual spectacle in the day, I suppose – and his pulse is paced. Her husband, Uriah, a soldier, was away fighting the king’s war. Back then kings lead their armies into battlegrounds, so David was being a complete truant. He ends up implicated in a web of lust by summoning and conceiving with Bathsheba, then orchestrated the death of Uriah, and marries her as a cover up for the deception. A simple case of dodgery becomes a grotesque portrait of the idle mind becoming the devil’s workshop. David later repents after a rebuke from the prophet Nathan, and his illegitimate child is deceased. He then consoles Bathsheba, resulting in the birth of Solomon, who God loved dearly. Some controversy jumps at me and rubs me the wrong way at the suggestion that some children are more deserving of life than others, but I digress. I trust God’s heart. Solomon grows up amidst resistance from his step brothers and becomes Israel’s next great king. He submits to God and is blessed with boundless wisdom and riches – what should be a happy ending. But then Solomon developes an appetite greater than his father’s and marries hundreds of women who lead him astray. Israel consequently goes into the detrimental cycle of war and captivity that is witnessed today2. How sad! In the beginning, amidst the hullabaloo of David’s shenanigans, scripture stubbornly holds a lot of promise for Solomon – that God accepted David’s repentantance and then loved Solomon despite the circumstances that brought his parents together. His destiny is contested yet assured and is crowned king. He is then bestowed with discernment like no one else before or after him. Yet despite man’s self-proclaimed undisputed reign in the animal kingdom’s heirachy of intellect, his tendencies to repetitively indulge in detrimental habits disgracefully afford him a slot among the less wise. But let us not hasten to point fingers in narrow minded subjudicial reverence. Several things come up here: the perpetual entrapment of our weaknesses, the explicit likenesses we bare with both David and Solomon and God’s amazing grace. And here is the hard minced and sometimes overlooked truth: God does not shy away from forgiving any of our sins3. When it comes to repentance, you mean it, He wipes it all away – a baffling yet refreshing fact. Baffling since it goes beyond all human logic to keep reaching out to someone who just does not seem to get it right, yet refreshing because our very souls yearn to reconcile with our Maker. “How do You ask for a small thing as an “I’m sorry” in place of the mess I did?” We look around the havoc we have created and shock ourselves sometimes. I have. We can barely forgive ourselves leave alone come to terms with it. We deal with dire results, yet all God asks of us is to reach out to Him and our relationship is salvaged. “How can it be?” There is reason behind God coming to die for us. There is no other way. We simply cannot help ourselves, so He helps us. “What do you mean I am in the wrong? Does that seem fair to you? I don’t find any problem with it” It is also not the easiest thing sometimes to be broken. The ego can put up insurmountable contention against surrender. Again, we break through by conscious submission to God’s grace. “But I submitted, haven’t I?” It can even get more dangerous. We can be stuck in our ways – even subconsciously – so much that although we may have mental understanding of the expected, we may remain clueless to the fact that we have not resigned ourselves to God. It does not matter how mighty you are in the eyes of men, we are all susceptible to downfall by our mistakes. The quickest thing to remember is that God is ever present and ever waiting in this lifetime to steer us back to Himself. But He does not force our hand. We have to be broken. We need to ensure that at all times – in health, wealth, prosperity, or confusion, pain and suffering – our hearts remain open before God, so that when we err like the rest of the human race, we fall in His grace. All in all, we need to always be willing to please God. Our hearts need to be where God’s is, and focus more on His will than what is leading us astray. I do not think there is much living in constantly allowing ourselves in unsure situations, or/and engaging in endless debates about whether we are right or wrong. Sometimes we just need to run and quit playing Hercules. As much as we should look out for ensnarement, our efforts should be more invested in the eventualities we wish for ourselves. If David had focused on being where he was supposed to be, for instance, he would not have to deal with the generational havoc that ensued. I am learning to lay all my issues in God’s hands, determined to do my part as etched in Taking The U Turn. I thus write this post with much trembling, greatly aware of how much I need to learn. ___ 1 Could the word bath possibly come from here? 2 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Kings 3:11-13; 11:1-6 3 1 John 1:8-10 .



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