Shamgar lived in dangerous times. Philistine gangs roamed the countryside, robbing people: 'In the days of Shamgar... people avoided the main roads; and travellers stayed on...pathroads.' Shamgar's only weapon was an ox goad, a long wooden staff with a steel tip used to prod oxen. But it wasn't until he came under attack that he discovered its full potential.
Understand this: God has given you an 'ox goad', something you can use to win in the situation you're facing. If you seek Him, He'll show you what it is. Like the boy with the five loaves and two fishes, God will take something small, bless it, then multiply it to bless others. The Bible says we are to '...be instant in season, out of season...'
The Greek words for 'be instant' could be translated 'be prepared'. The Greek word for 'season' means 'opportunity'. You need to be preparing yourself now, when it looks like nothing is happening, because your season will change and the opportunity to act will suddenly present itself. When it does, you must be ready.
In life, opportunities are either coming towards you, or passing you by. In college, a professor told Dr Martin Luther King Jr that if he kept using such lofty words, he would never be a very effective public speaker. You have to wonder what that professor thought as he listened to Dr King's 'I have a dream' speech, and watched him go on to champion civil rights.
What's your ox goad? Use it, and God will bless it!
SoulFood Reading: 1 Sam 16-17, Luke 24:1-12, Ps 68:1-18, Pro 22:1-5
I needed this one today. I had a bit of a down day yesterday. I am struggling at the moment to decide where the heck i go to from here - what the heck i am going to do with the rest of my life. Someone, over the weekend, said a lot of terrible things about me. Awful, horrible things, that did not really bother me. I figure they reflect more on her, and her state of mind, than they do on me...but i have to admit that being criticised and put down for my current employment status, did bother me a bit.
I have spent days, weeks, and months, trying to decide what to do now, and it is beginning to frustrate me that i have been unable to come up with a clear answer - thus far.
The media attention that i have received over the past couple of months, has not helped my confidance. I sometimes can't help but think that i am the only one who has been hurt by it. The newspapers sell, Radio Live has received free publicity, and i am now scared to apply for jobs because i fear my name and face will be instantly recognised. I was never going to lie to anyone about my past anyway...obviously, but the whole saga, has really been an attempt by the media to bring shame back into my life. And the funny thing about it all is, that i have no doubt that it was not me that they wanted to do that to, but they will use anyone to hurt their intended target.
Yesterday, i was feeling really down and worrying about my future. Today, i will just go back to trying to find my ox goad! I am going to start a degree next year. It might take me a hundred years to complete it, but i am definitely going to go back to studying. I don't want just an average, boring, office job, like i had always had in the past. I loathe average. I get so bored with average. I was never very good at average, which is half the reason that i ended up where i did.
So i am definitely going to study, so that i can end up doing something that i love. However, in the meantime, the only insult that nasty people can say about me, that really bothers me is to call me unemployed. Isn't that funny? I can be called a "Little Wretch" a "P Head" a "Whore" etc etc and none of that bothers me - unemployed though - does.
Weird. I need to find my ox goad! haha