It seems that ingrained in our human nature is the yearning for leadership. As children, we first look up to our parents, and then later in life we seek role models who, in a special way, enliven our spirits and stir up our passions. We find ourselves attracted to them because of their accomplishments, skills, or unique character. Simply said, our hearts were created to seek guidance, direction and meaning for our lives.

In this weekend’s first reading, after Saul’s death, we hear of the Israelites seeking to continue the earthly Kingship of Israel through David. They looked up to David due to his military successes and knowledge that God was with him. David served as the second King of Israel, but God was never pleased with the fact that they desired to be led by a King.

We hear in 1 Samuel that God saw their plea for an earthly king as a rejection of Him as their king. God equates this with the desire to serve other Gods. He warns them that this will come at a cost. The king will take their sons and daughters, land, crops, and flocks. The Israelites refused to listen to God’s warning and insisted that they have an earthly king to rule over them. They responded, “We too must be like all the nations, with a king to rule us, lead us in warfare, and fight our battles.” God, although He is rejected by them, relents to their request.

In the Gospel reading, we progress forward in time to where God now sends the Israelites another king – his own son, Jesus – to usher in the kingdom of heaven. But the rulers of Israel, again, reject Him as their king.

These readings remind us that God desires that He alone be the one whom we seek and long for. Although God has written in our hearts the desire to seek Him and have Him rule over our hearts, like the Israelites, we easily become blinded by the world and mistakenly embrace false idols in place of God. When we serve other kings, we are never truly satisfied and our spirits experience emptiness, fear, and weariness. The good news is that God knows of our weaknesses and patiently waits for us to crown Him as our king. It is only when we allow God to rule over our hearts that we can truly experience peace, happiness, and sense of purpose that no person on earth can ever provide.

Deacon Bob