It’s amazing how many people believe in both natural and supernatural selection.
We start our week with Supernatural Selection – at church – reminded that God has chosen us to be His followers, His children, His heirs, by His grace: that’s Supernatural Selection…
Then, starting Monday morning, we shift from the Apostle Paul to Charles Darwin for our source code, and fire up our competitive engines to compete in the Natural Selection finals. For the rest of the week, it’s all about the Survival of the Fittest.
Best-in-class wins the day; superior by every measure is what we’re programmed to pursue, and the tireless search for excellence drives climbers to accept exhaustion as a reasonable recurrence.
As you receive this, I’m flying home from Africa with Cheri and some colleagues. During our two weeks there, we took a couple of days to see what God created in the savanna in Kruger National Park. We spent hours tracking, finding, watching and photographing lions – alone, and in prides – and observing their approach to life. That was pure indulgence…
Observation: the King of the Jungle has no sense of decency or grace. An independent male comes upon a pride and challenges the dominant male. A battle ensues; the winner takes it all. The females are now his; any cubs will be killed by him (to eliminate the former leader’s blood line). I watched that Animal Kingdom drama, and thought about God’s superior Kingdom alternative.
Saul was Israel’s Alpha Male – the first King – who rejected God, and God rejected him. God made a Supernatural Selection for King #2, and it wasn’t the normal royal succession. Jonathan was the Crown Prince, but David was God’s pick. It took over a decade, but Saul and Jonathan (David’s best friend) both died in battle – on the same day! – and David moved toward the monarchy.
Once installed on the throne, David remembered a promise he had made to his good friend: he would forever remember Jonathan’s family with kindness. Natural Selection – in the pursuit of thrones and crowns – dictates that the victor eliminates the former sovereign’s progeny. Banishment or execution were the tactics for the Survival of the Fittest king. The one whose bloodline would include the Lion of Judah had different plans.
After securing his position, David ordered Jonathan’s only surviving son brought to the palace. His name was Mephibosheth and, when word had come years before that his grandfather and father had both died in battle, his nurse had dropped him (he was only five), disabling him for life. Now a man, his summons to Jerusalem was presumed to be a death sentence.
The story is worth re-reading; it’s found in 2 Samuel 9. When Mephibosheth arrived, David welcomed him, restored to him the properties that had been owned by Saul and Jonathan (giving him lifetime income), and then set a place at the King’s table that would be his in perpetuity.
Mephibosheth: Natural Selection would have ensured his death. Supernatural Selection granted him a privileged life. Darwin saw him as expendable; God saw him as redeemable: grace in action.
The reason we went to Africa (the safari was 20% of the trip) was to come alongside a great ministry founded by Ryan and Gerda Audagnotti, South African graduates of The Master’s Program who live in SoCal who found their calling – together – and launched Acres of Love.
South Africa is home to 57 million people; 5.2 million of those (est) are orphans. Acres of Love buys single family homes, staffs them with houseparents… and then welcomes orphans to become part of their Forever Families (check them out at www.acresoflove.org).
Modern-day Mephibosheths – marked for mortality by their conditions – are brought in to the House of the King (provided by Christian partners who understand God’s grace and His plan for children to be raised in families!). Many come with difficulties or disabilities; they are special there.
We helped to dedicate their newest home – made possible by friends of The Master’s Program – and then visit the families of other Acres homes that came from Master’s and Barnabas partners.
The kids in their care – over 210, at current count – have a place at the King’s table, because Supernatural Selection is the way God distributes His greatest provisions…