Friday, August 9, 2013

Foolish Vows




Our new year of Destination Imagination (DI) started yesterday! The team I manage met to choose their "challenge" for the year, and they already have wild and creative ideas for how they will meet that challenge. Last year was our first year, and we had a lot of learning about how to be a team, but in the end, it was really a magical team. So I am very excited to be able to leave them to their own devices this year.

"I thought you were not doing this again?" said my friend.
It was an enormous time and energy commitment last year, and I think I had indeed vowed never to do it again.
"Yeh, I thought so too," I told my friend, "But in the end, Asherel really wants to do it, and the team learned so much last year. I think I will be able to really back off and let them manage their time on their own, observe the safety rules...not die...I don't think it will be nearly as hard on me as last year was."

That is my hope and my new vow. Teenagers and power tools are a scary combination, but I think this group is up to the challenge of surviving with much less supervision than last year. So my new vow is to close my eyes, and back off.

However, one should be very careful about what one vows. I am reading in 1 Samuel about King Saul and his foolish, rash vows. In the section I am reading, Saul is going out to battle the Philistines, and foolishly vows that none of his troops shall touch a morsel of food till the Philistines have been defeated. The consequence of disobeying Saul in this stupid proclamation is death. So the troops don't eat all day, and are starving. Saul's son Jonathan doesn't hear about this edict, and eats a bit of honey. He is found out by his father who laments: gee willikins, boy, now I have to slaughter you!

Fortunately, the troops tell Saul that the whole reason the Philistines were defeated was due to Jonathan, and he cannot be serious about killing his own son over tasting a mouthful of honey? Saul relents, Jonathan is spared, and we are given an important lesson. Do not vow anything without considering all the implications. Decide hastily, and repent for eternity.

It is quite telling that after Saul's foolish vow, when he prays to God, he hears no answer. Apparently, God does not suffer fools gladly.So, I am just hopeful my team will do all they can to be independent and successful. I guess I better not vow what my response will be, but am feeling confident this is going to be a good year.

1 Samuel 14:26-30 NIV
[26] When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. [27] But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. [28] Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.” [29] Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. [30] How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”






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