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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Packin' Courage, Beatin' Giants, and High Fivin'

"Giants are not as strong as they seem and sometimes the shepherd boy has a sling in his pocket." Malcolm Gladwell

Confession: I sit in my car, in my driveway, and listen to sermons and Ted Talks. It's a way of isolation from my ADD self.

This morning I dropped the beloveds off at school and cued up Malcolm Gladwell's Ted Talk on his new book "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants." (How can you NOT want to read this book with a title like that?)

I was captivated.

Malcolm beautifully expounds on research into the age old Biblical story of David and Goliath with facts and theories that I never pictured nor imagined. He presents us with this thought: Perhaps we've interpreted this story incorrectly. By viewing David as an underdog and Goliath as a victor, maybe, just maybe we've had it all wrong. What if Goliath was impaired and David had the advantage? What if Goliath just LOOKED looming and horrifying? What if David truly had the upper hand with one single stone and sling?

You guys know I love it.

I am forever in favor of the underdog. The yearling. The kid in the corner of the playground. Just last night I lay into the wee hours considering my career path, "Do I really want to go into Oncology? Is there a clinic that I can specialize in AIDS work? I really want to touch people no one wants to touch." Thus I loved the presentation that Giants are not really as strong as we believe them to be and furthermore us little peons fighting with a stick and a sling have more going for us than a dream and a suicidal courageousness.

Obviously, God had David. He ordained the steps of this shepherd boy to fight and win. He walked him straight into a war zone, equipped him with hardly anything, then showed He was still God by allowing him to kill the bully. But what else was God imparting? What did he really want all of us underdogs to learn?

I believe it was this nugget:


Through the preacher Malcolm Gladwell this morning :-), I realized God was showing that we are far more equipped than we give ourselves and Him credit for.

Fighting the giants in our lives can seem daunting (shout out to Christine Caine's book "Undaunted") like an uphill trek against Machu Picchu with no acclimation and no beef jerky. But in reality this is not so. As I delve deeper and deeper into aging (what choice do I have) and vulnerability practice, I find that daring greatly and being a wholehearted person are difficult, embarrassing to my pride, and downright terrifying but not something that I stand totally unequipped for.

Here's the deal: All of us have a slingshot in our pocket. We just don't take it out against the giants. Due to fear, embarrassment about going against cultural norm, or just plain apathy, we sit on the sidelines playing with our harps (shout out to David) and refuse to fight for our own lives. Shame on us.

Don't get me wrong, Giant fighting is about as fun as a root canal sans the gas. Some days it seems like running a marathon with not one day of training. Battling for what you want and victory is fierce, lonely at times, exhausting, and requires oodles and oodles of fortitude and staying power. But when the day comes that you leave the corner of the playground, walk up that hill, and pull out what you've got (aka your slingshot), take aim and fire at your giant...you realize you aren't as big of an underdog as you thought you were.

Because you just knocked that bully to the ground. With hardly any weaponry except that big ol' pack of courage and trust on your back.

Once you've fought and won...you want to do it again. You want to dwell in the arena of courageous living. The corner of the playground no longer holds a spot for you. You've outgrown that space.

Here's what I propose: Today we all gear up together and begin to walk out of the corner. Put on our courage packs, talk to our battle trainer while he sticks our slingshot in our pocket, and begin walking. It might take us a little while to acclimate to the higher altitudes that living wholeheartedly requires, but we'll be moving. Together. Once we get to the top, we'll all yell, hoot and holler for one another as we pull out our slingshots and knock our giants to the ground. Then collectively, we'll run over and take a look at what we've been afraid of for so long and realize: He was so much less intelligent, capable, and menacing that we dreamed him to be.

Then we'll all high five, pick up our stones, and start the next trek. Together. As a group of misfit underdogs determined to win.

Grace and Peace Fighters,

A ~

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