THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO BACK DOWN A TIGER
When I was a kid, I was in love with David, the giant killer! The story of little Davie taking on the huge giant, Goliath, had totally captured my young heart. There was nothing I loved more than an underdog story. If I was playing basketball and we were picking sides, I would let the best player choose any 2 players they wanted, and then I’d take two “left overs” and we’d go at it…and a couple of times WE WON! But almost always, I played better knowing I was the underdog. I loved to take the giant down! Most people do.
But if you think this story is just about that, then you are missing the point. If your read the story in 1 Samuel 17 and following, you will notice that at one point, Saul (the king…the guy who should be taking on the Goliath) offers David his armor. It’s a hillarius scene if you understand what’s going on. You see Saul is a great big tall dude…a good 6’5”. And David? He’s just a boy…maybe 5 feet tall at best. Can you see the humor here? When David came out of that dressing room he must have looked ridiculous…that armor would have looked like I used to when I put on my dad’s suits playing dress up as a child! The whole battalion must have been busting a gut!
Later on David takes off all that armor and goes to what he knows…5 smooth stones and a sling. And with that…down goes the giant! David triumps because he knows enough to use the gifts God has given him, and not something borrowed.
Last night I caught the last half of the Mariners game on TV. The Mariners were going up against a giant…Justin Verlander…the pitching ace for the Detroit Tigers. He’s a great pitcher, and last night for the first 5 innings he was making a mockery out of the Mariner’s bats. I mean our guys looked like Junior High players! In the 6th inning we were down 4-0…and what we needed was a home run. Unfortunately, the guy up to bat for the Mariners was Jarred Dyson and he has a big wopping 4 home runs this year. Not exactly a hopeful scenario! I almost turned off the TV!
But then Dyson did something that totally broke the Tiger’s ace…he laid down a perfect bunt on the first base side of the plate. Verlander, the pitcher, Cabrera, the first baseman, and Kinsler, the 2nd baseman all converged on the ball…exactly Dyson’s plan. Guess what? With those three all chasing the ball, there wasn’t anyone on first to put him out! He was safe, and as you watch Verlander’s face (check it out here) you know that that tiny little hit just might break this game wide open. And it did. By the end of the inning the Mariners had the game tied, and Verlander was out. In the end, the Mariners won 7-5.
Sometimes we people of faith are kind of like me. We want the home run! We want to hit the home run! But sometimes that’s not what we are called to do. Sometimes being the home run hitter is not our gift. And sometimes, because of that, we give up!
Don’t do that! Play to YOUR strengths. You aren’t Jesus Christ…you are Jarred Dyson. And the gift you have is a great mind, and speed. Use it…do all you can to develop those skills…and then, when the time comes, be ready to use it “for such a time as this!” And then watch in wonder as God turns it into a transformational moment for the world!
You Pastor, bagging the home run and doubling down on my bunting skills, Brook