Susan Boyle: Judging God’s Way
By Debbie Rodgers
-Susan Boyle, 47,unemployed, and not exactly the type that is expected to wow an audience, walked onto the stage of Britain’s Got Talent in April of 2009. She is not Hollywood glamorous and the audience makes no attempt to hide their opinion.
As with all contestants, the judges finished their inquiries and the “go-ahead” is given for the music to begin. Gripped on the edge of their seats, some audience members looked to be anticipating the worse - she would utterly embarrass herself and somehow them as well. Then came one of those moments that astound those of us who tend to prejudge; out of this ordinary vessel, poured divinely orchestrated sounds with angelic resonance.
But, then again, God loves to astound our worldly wisdom with His heavenly light. He loves to break man-made rules in order to show us a better way. The Message Bible puts it this way in I Corinthians 3:19,
“Don't fool yourself. Don't think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God's fool—that's the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid.”
Watching Susan Boyle reminded me of how often I have judged people by the package alone – looking at things from human eyes instead of asking God for His perspective. It reminded me of the prophet Samuel who went looking to anoint a king from among the sons of a man named Jesse. Samuel may have missed out on God’s best if the decision was left up to him because he was ready to anoint the first contestant that met his standard.
In I Samuel 16:6 it says,
“Samuel looked on Eliab (the eldest son), and said, surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.”
But, as Samuel was looking on, God was looking in. In total, seven brothers were paraded before the prophet, any of which could have made a fine king if Samuel was making the call. But Samuel wasn’t doing the judging, just the anointing, and he could only see skin deep. There was one brother left for consideration named David, and he was out tending to animals. This ordinary boy was perhaps a potential embarrassment to the rest of his family since they never mentioned him until asked. After all, David’s closest associates were sheep. So, who would God choose?
Here we are at the pivotal moment, the lights go up and the music starts. We can see an unknown, long-shot on stage called Susan or perhaps David. Maybe we see ourselves. This is one who has always had a dream, even in the midst of persistent voices declaring that dreams are only for those who are deemed worthy by the audience.
Who will God choose to be king? As our man-made veil is lifted and the time of truth arrives, we witness God rejecting the idea that worth can be measured by merely “looking on” with our physical eyes. God chooses David, a man who others had not even placed in the running. He chose a woman whose total obscurity for 47 years was obliterated within the first seven seconds of a song. God chose a woman from a small village without celebrity pedigree to confound the way we view the world around us. Susan Boyle’s heart came pouring out in heavenly tones that changed the rules forever.
The final conclusion and example for those who long to see things God’s way and to be seen God’s way:
"Men look on the outward appearance, but God looks on the Heart (I Samuel 16:7).”
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Debbie Rodgers is a sixth generation Texan and a graduate from the University of Texas in Austin. She started DRodgersGroup,Inc. over 15 years ago with a focus on corporate training and development. Themes of her life message focus on inspiring individuals to live proactively, improving interaction with others through understanding, and living life on genuine terms.
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