Sunday, September 5, 2021

How long wilt thou mourn for Saul?

Shortly after writing my last post, "Course correction," I opened up the app I have been using to listen to the Bible read aloud. It picked up where I had left off -- I had just finished 1 Samuel 15 -- and so the first thing I heard was this:

And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? (1 Sam. 16:1)

"Mourn" is metaphorical, since Saul was not actually dead at the time. In (synchronistic, not textual) context, I took the passage as confirmation of my recent decision to disengage from politics -- specifically, to stop speculating about Donald Trump. Soon after Trump's emergence as a political figure, you see, I had connected him with Saul. I think the idea came to me when I saw him in one of those debates with a zillion other contenders for the Republican nomination back in 2016, and the extreme way in which he stood out from the crowd made me think, "from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people" (1 Sam. 9:2).

In those days, a relative and I used to play the "reincarnation game" of half-serious speculation about the past-life "lineages" of public figures. Searching my email for "Saul," I find that I wrote this on May 6, 2016:

I know you've already got some of these people in a lineage ending with a magazine publisher, but these days I can't help thinking: King Saul > Henry VIII > George S. Patton > Donald Trump. What do you think?

Rereading that just now, I couldn't remember how George S. Patton had fit in, so I ran a web search and was reminded just how much Old Blood and Guts resembled Trump in terms of physiognomy. Clicking on the most Trumpesque image-search result took me to a page called "On this day in 1945: General George Patton dies in Germany." (Note: Trump was born in 1946.) The page begins thus:

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - General George S. Patton Jr.

On December 8, 1945, General Patton's chief of staff, Major General Hobart Gay, invited him on a hunting trip near Speyer, Germany, to lift his spirits. Observing derelict cars along the side of the road, Patton said, "How awful war is. Think of the waste." Moments later, his vehicle collided with an American army truck at low speed.

The very first words: "It is foolish and wrong to mourn." How long wilt thou mourn for Saul? And then, "How awful war is. Think of the waste." Disengage.

Last time I tried to disengage from "anything topical, political, or evil," the sync fairies weren't having any of it, so this synchronistic expression of approval is encouraging -- even if, in typically mischievous fashion, they had to communicate it in the form of a Trump sync! 

No comments:

Did King David torture people with saws and burn them in a brick kiln?

Here is a passage in the King James Version of 2 Samuel that rather arrests one's attention. And David gathered all the people together,...