Psalm 78:70-71 — He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. (NIV)
I suspect there were a few during David’s time that imagined themselves to be king material. They no doubt whispered of their dreams and prepared themselves mentally for opportunity that might come. Other things might have been neglected as they envisioned personal glory.
But David did what was before him to do. David tended sheep for his father. He spent hours in the fields, keeping watch over what was entrusted to him. David had time in his shepherding to observe the wonders of God, to think about God’s ways, and develop a close walk with the Lord. David kept focused, and that focus had much to do with preparing him to be king. Even more, it prepared him to be a man with an intimate relationship with God. Acts 13:22 – I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do. (NIV)
What a lesson for us. To do the work at hand, as God has provided for us to do, and to do it with complete focus and to the very best of our ability. We can look back and see that very often we have been prepared for greater things when we gave ourselves fully to the lesser ones. When we acted responsibly to what may have seemed not that important, God watched, and then trusted us with a greater service for Him. We can never tell when we are being shaped by His hands for a mighty work yet to come.