In the memorable story of David and Goliath, it really is the small things that matter: a small boy who’s willing to face a giant with a small slingshot aimed at the giant’s weak spot. The rock wouldn’t have worked if David’s aim had been off. Yet, David had the courage to try anyway. But that type of courage transformed David, and it’s the type of courage that can help us take the risks God needs us to take to transform this world with love. David’s steps toward courage can guide our steps to the courage we need to follow where Christ leads, even when it means facing the giant challenges of violence, injustice, and exclusion. Goliath symbolized a nation filled with those same challenges; and David’s steps toward courage revealed a very different type of power. His steps toward courage were steps toward himself as a child of God.
First, David faced the challenge by simply being himself. He didn’t want to hide behind Saul’s heavy armor. He walked forward in the simple truth that he was a small shepherd and young man.
Second, David brought his unique gifts to the battle. He didn’t want Saul’s fancy sword. He chose instead to use his own gifts—the staff and stones he carried daily to protect his sheep. He faced Goliath, not as a mighty warrior, but as himself, armed only with the gifts he already had.
Finally, David recognized that he couldn’t face Goliath alone. He proclaimed his partnership with God, and ultimately trusted in God’s victory rather than in his own aim. When Dr. King bows in prayer with the Selma protestors, he confuses and surprises both followers and enemies with this humble, peaceful action. This is risky leadership, but it is godly leadership. Coming as ourselves—fully, vulnerably, honestly, to whatever battles of life we face—paves the way for God to work through us and for God to fill us with the Spirit’s strength. To then bring whatever gifts we have been given—small though they may be, trusting in our God-given gifts—allows God to work through our gifts, expanding and empowering our gifts to be big enough for the road ahead. Finally, when we add an ounce of faith, proclaiming our partnership with God in the chall
enge of life, we give the Spirit room to strengthen our courage to face whatever lies ahead. Bringing ourselves, our gifts, and our God, brings a trinity of strength and courage to face whatever giants may try to block our way on the path of transforming God’s world with love. So, take a risk. Be yourself. Bring your full self and all of your gifts to the journey. Journey with God, and discover how mighty and powerful you and your gifts can be when facing the giants of life.
-Adapted from Mary Scifres Ministries