Paper, Rock, Slingshot
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
- 1 Samuel 17:50
What's the big surprise in the David and Goliath story? Ask a random person on the street and they might tell you that the surprise had to do with the size differential - little guy versus giant - or with the miraculous shot with the rock. But that isn't it at all.
Malcolm Gladwell draws on some ancient history in his David and Goliathbook. He points out that ancient armies often had infantry, calvary and archery. The infantry were the tanks: strong, solid, carrying spears and devastating to the calvary. Goliath in his armor would have run with the infantry.
If David had gone up against Goliath wearing armor and carrying a spear, it would have taken a miracle for him to win. But David didn't do that.
David chose to face infantry with archery. He attacked from a distance, preventing Goliath from engaging with him directly. David stayed nimble and flexible. He brought a gun to a knife fight. He threw Paper when Goliath threw Rock. It's no surprise that David won.
What's the big surprise then? The surprise is that David engaged and did that with authentic creativity. He stayed true to who God made him to be and that enabled him to do what God made him to do.
As we hunker down for the storm and recover from it's impact, let's offer the radical surprise of authentic, creative engagement. Let's look for ways to engage with God. Let's look for ways to engage with our families. Let's look for ways to engage with our neighbors.
When we refuse to fight the giant on the giant's terms, the Lord can lead us via creative paths to a meaningful victory.