The interesting thing about university is that sometimes your greatest learning moments come outside of a classroom setting. One on one with professors, chance encounters with your peers, those are some of the most formative moments you experience. I had one of those moments yesterday. I bumped into a friend and we started talking. We shared our struggles and hopes for the future. He mentioned that many times when we embark on our God-given missions in life, we become side tracked, aspiring to gain the approbation of man and forfeiting the blessing of God. Often our limited view of others cause us to be rabid malcontents who are never satisfied. We desire the trappings of “success” that others in our field have reached, and the recognition that inevitably follows. In short, we desire their anointing.
In Palestine anointing oil was made by crushing olives into a paste using a large milestone, and then putting the crushed paste in between disks and through irresistible pressure extracting precious drops of pure olive oil. All that is left is mangled pulp, but the output is oil. My observation is that those who are truly anointed by the Holy Spirit go through painfully crushing experiences in private that produce public lives coursing with power.
It puts the Shepherds Psalm in perspective:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Before the table was the valley, before the anointing was the crushing. There are no shortcuts to the table, and there are no express lanes to GOD’s anointing!