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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Home Leaders Calling Chasing Fleas and Dead Dogs

Chasing Fleas and Dead Dogs

Over the doorways of the great Gothic Cathedral in Milan located in Lombardy, northern Italy, are engraved three inscriptions. Over the right-hand door there is this motto: All That Pleases Is but for a Moment. Over the left-hand archway the words read: All That Troubles Is but for a Moment. Over the central door there is a simple sentence: Nothing Is Important Save That Which Is Eternal.

1 Samuel 24 is an interesting and inspirational chapter if you read between the lines. Saul, the king of Israel whose throne is threatened by the brutal Philistines, chased David with insane madness. Eventually the Lord delivered Saul into the hands of David in a cave in the desert region of En Gedi but in an amazing twist of fate, the shepherd refused to slay the lion. The boy will not kill the bear. I find embedded in this chapter an amazing, and somewhat amusing, verse which is a sub-title in the main story line of the chapter. David asked Saul, “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?”

The question was both appropriate and appalling. David’s question is more than a statement of humility combined with an appeal for Saul to call off the hunt. It called a king to account for his time, talents, and treasure. “Saul, what are you doing? You’re a mighty king. There are enemies camped at our border waiting to topple your throne, kill innocent people and overrun the nation. It makes no sense for you to waste your time and energy on the likes of a flea like me.”

Saul lost the focus that kings are indebted to keep. In chasing David from one rocky mountain top to the next ravine, from cave to cavern, he abandoned the priorities of a king. While his kingdom was in peril he engaged himself in a flea hunt!

The simple lessons in life are difficult to learn for both peasants and kings. Indeed, “All that pleases is but for a moment.” Obviously, Saul didn’t believe that or subscribe to the truth of a popular proverb, “There are no pockets in shrouds.” In just a short time Saul would be dead, not at the hands of David, but his real enemies, the Philistines. “All that troubles is but for a moment.”
David’s question halted a king and yet it still confronts a peasant like me: Christian, Whom are you pursuing? I am compelled to pray, Lord, help me understand, nothing is important save that which is eternal.

Larry Wright
Larry Wrighthttp://www.leadersbuildingleaders.com
Larry currently serves as Mission Director of Leaders Building Leaders, an organization dedicated to equipping the next generation of Christ-followers in the theology of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and conducting short-term mission trips in North America and around the world as outlined by Jesus in Acts 1:8. Larry served as a pastor for 34 years. He pastored the First Baptist Church (FBC) in Florence, Alabama as well as the Valley Grove Baptist Church in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Prior to that, he served on a church staff in Texas and fulfilled a calling as a vocational evangelist. Larry's last ministry assignment was serving as President of Training In Missions Evangelism (T.I.M.E.) Ministries in Huntsville, Alabama from 2009 to 2013.  All together, Larry has been preaching the gospel for almost five decades, since 1965 while a senior in high school. Larry earned a BA from Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama) in 1970 with a major in Religion and a minor in History. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, Texas) in 1973 with a Master’s degree in Theology. While serving as pastor of FBC, Larry's ministry extended to a local college campus where he taught religion as an adjunct professor at the University of North Alabama in Florence for seven years. A published author, Larry enjoys writing as a hobby and employs this skill as a great ministry opportunity. Some of his writings have been published in Homelife and Proclaim, both publications of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In addition, Larry has been published in several periodicals including Leadership Journal, Riverview Magazine and the Common Ground.  Many of Larry’s works are self-published. Larry’s personal website reflects his desire to help the next generation of leaders and you may also read Larry’s blogs, sermons and favorite articles by visiting this web page at www.leadersbuildingleaders.com.  Don't miss reading Larry's tribute to his friend Bill Trapp who died of ALS in 2000. The title of the article is "One Day Closer." His other personal interests include golf, duck hunting, Labrador Retrievers and backpacking. Larry and his daughters have hiked over 150 miles on the Appalachian Trail, and most of the trails in North Alabama. He and his wife Debby live in Florence, Alabama. They have three daughters and eight grandchildren. Jennifer Wright Bokin is a graduate of the University of North Alabama and Mississippi College School of Law and she and her husband Don live in Mobile with their two daughters, Harley and Katie Aubrey. Rebekah Methvin, a graduate of Auburn University, and her husband Roddy have three sons (Tate, Jon Walt and Mills Thomas, who is in heaven enjoying the presence of Jesus!). They live in Florence. Stephanie Allen is a graduate of Samford University and the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She and her husband Robbie have three sons: Parker, Asher and Graham. They live in the Huntsville area.

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