Today begins as any other day. I wake up at my usual time just before sunrise, slipping out of bed and into my usual clothes. I pray my morning prayers and find my way into the kitchen to eat some food before heading outside for the day. My seven older brothers have already ravaged the breakfast table as usual, and I’m running late so I pick through some leftovers, gulp down some orange juice, and kiss my mother goodbye before slipping out the door. My family has a large herd of livestock and my brothers are already taking care of the cattle, the goats, and the poultry. My job is to look after the sheep as they graze in the fields. I grab my staff and lead my flock out into the hills. After a few miles I stop and let them graze. I find a large rock that lays under a shade tree along the hillside and sit down on it. I lean back and look out across the green pastures, marveling at the beauty God has created. As the gentle warm breeze blows softly through my hair, I scan the perimeter of the field and surrounding hills, being ever-watchful for signs of wolves or anything that could attack my sheep. But today is a good day; nothing unusual about my surroundings or my flock. I lay my head back against the tree and close my eyes as I listen to a song bird singing in the distance over the sound of the sheep.
“David,” I think I hear someone say. As I open my eyes and leap to my feet, startled, I see someone in the distance. As I look closer, I realize it is my mother running toward me from the direction of my house. “David” she shouts, “come quickly! Your father needs you!” Concerned, I grab my staff and run toward my mother. “What’s the matter?” I ask as I come near her. She says, “Your father needs you in town right now. He’s offering a sacrifice with the king’s prophet Samuel and he sent for you. You must go quickly! I’ll look after the flock.” Confused and a little afraid, I listen to my mother and, handing her my staff, I start running back toward town. As I run there are all kinds of thoughts racing through my mind. “Why is Samuel visiting our village? Is something wrong? Why would Dad need me?” As I run past my house, I realize none of my brothers are in the barns or with the other animals. “They must already be with Dad,” I reason. “So why would he need me?”
As I finally get to town and find where my father and brothers are, I slow down to catch my breath. I see my older brothers, all seven of them, standing around staring at me with looks of confusion and maybe even anger. As I carefully walk past them, my father greets me with a half-hearted smile and an odd look of confusion. “There he is, my youngest, David,” he says, turning to an old man dressed in fine robes.
At first, the man looks irritated and slightly intimidating as his long gray beard hangs from his harsh face, appearing to be nearly turned to leather by years of suffering the effects of the sun and wind. Then his face changes. It almost lights up as a genuine, heart-felt smile finds its way across it, lifting the wrinkled skin that hangs from his cheek bones. “Ahh, David,” he sighed with a sound of relief, “youngest son of Jesse.” Just then he takes out a horn filled with some sort of oil. He opens the end of it and, lifting it up, he pours it on top of my head. At first I’m stunned, but I can’t move. I’m afraid and want to run away, but as I look at the proud expressions on the faces of my father and some of the town elders, I realize it must be something good. It must mean something important. I’ve seen this happen before when someone was anointed for special service to God. Maybe I’ve been chosen to be some sort of priest. I close my eyes as the oil runs down my forehead and the sides of my face. I breathe in deeply as I feel it run down my neck and onto my chest. As I stand here in darkness, confused and seemingly paralyzed, I feel a sudden sense of peace. I’m not sure what’s happening and what all this means, but I know God is with me and I get a strong feeling of his presence washing over me. I don’t know what his plans are for me or how he could use me, but I trust him. Today is no ordinary day; today has never happened before and I know I’ll never be the same again.