King David and Westerns

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by Kaleb Schrock

If you were to ask me, “Kaleb what Bible character would you say you relate to most?” I would not hesitate to say King David, but not because of his great victories in battle or his epic harp playing skills, but rather for his fall from grace with Bathsheba and his return to God 

I grew up in a strong Christian family for all my life, and I spent most of my time staying with my Grandpa and Grandma. I often joke that I was practically raised by baby boomers. For the longest time I believed myself firm in my faith, but it was in middle school and high school that I stumbled as David had. It was during this time that I was hit hard by lust and depression. I saw all my friends in relationships and they all seemed happy, so I became determined that that’s what I needed to be complete. However, God didn’t see things that way and I kept trying for girl after girl, each time being rejected and instead of heading to back to God. I wallowed in my own sadness and disappointment in myself. 

This is when I found my love of Westerns. My Grandpa has a whole wall in his basement lined with Louis Lamour Westerns, and I would read them and dream of riding on the open plains of the west – no one to answer to save myself, and nature itself a complete escape from reality. But sadly, that’s not how life is. I would always return to my world, looking for my value in a girl that I could call my own. 

Inspired by these dreams of the West, My Grandpa and I began two new hobbies: Rendezvouses and Civil War reenactments. I love to do these events to this day, and it was living out in the woods in a tent with my grandfather and the heat of the cannon during the battles that gave me a sense of freedom from sadness and lust. However, I would come home every time and be slapped in the face by lust that kept bringing me down. Every time I tried to be with someone it failed in rejection and I had a gut feeling that was trying to force God’s hand. Every time I would start I felt a weight on my chest like God was trying to tell me that she was not the one, but I ignored and was scorned. 

This is where the story of David comes in. Like David, I was strong in my faith and devotion to God, but I turned my eyes from God to that of other women trying to find my identity in that. But like David, I also saw that it is God that I should be seeking in my life and he is always there no matter what. I learned this after speaking with Professor Clark, and he told me that I needed to give up the reigns of my life to God. He reminded me of the verse Matthew 6:33 which says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you.” Through Westerns, rendezvouses with my Grandpa, and a change of heart, I have learned that following God and putting Him above all else is the only way that my life will fall back into place.

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