This is a guest post by my 17-year-old son, Gabe Henderson. He's in 11th grade and wrote this article for a school assignment. His interests include skiing and golf, and he runs a Minecraft server in his spare time.
Have you ever wanted to do something big, but all you get are little jobs? Frustration is understandable. We love doing the big things because we get more recognition that way. And of course, we love recognition, so the big, important things are typically what we strive to do.
If you find yourself suffering from a lack of recognition, then you should meet David.
The Israelites had a major problem: a group called the Philistines who lived nearby. They were a cruel, barbaric faction that seemed to enjoy attacking them. Eventually, King Saul of Israel took his army out to fight the Philistines, but the Philistines had a secret weapon — a giant man named Goliath. Goliath fought the terrified Israelites single-handedly.
King Saul himself was scared, but who wouldn’t be? Goliath was so terrifying that he could only be described as monstrous. The reward for killing the giant was great. So great in fact, that anyone would be after it, right? Wrong. Everyone in Saul’s army was afraid after watching many others be defeated by the giant. It wasn’t just Goliath’s monstrous strength, but his stature. Goliath stood over nine feet tall, and he wore the best armor that the Philistines could offer. No Israelite had enough confidence to volunteer…until David came along.
David was not a soldier. He just took care sheep, all day, every day. As a shepherd, he spent his days out in fields protecting his sheep from harm and from wild animals. While that may sound exciting, it wasn’t an everyday thing for sheep to be attacked. It was more likely that they would wander off, and he would have to retrieve them.
David’s brothers, however, were on the battlefront, where David thought they were fighting for the good of Israel. Unfortunately, the giant Goliath stopped all progress in that area. This was unknown to David’s father, who instructed him to take some food rations out to his brothers. Upon arrival, David heard the shouts of Goliath. Of course, the shouts were not very friendly. They were mostly taunts toward Israel, mocking everything from their manhood to God himself.
David was outraged. It was because of his lowly job of shepherding that David had the confidence to say, “I will stop this giant. My God and I will do it!” After all, several times in his career as a shepherd, David was protected by God from animals like lions or bears. This gave David the confidence that God would protect him.
That’s exactly what happened. David went to a stream, and found five, perfect stones. He took one of the stones, put it into his slingshot, and met Goliath on the battlefield. Goliath roared with scorn when he saw the puny David approaching. David took no notice of the taunts, and simply hurled his stone at the giant. A soft “plunk” was heard, and then Goliath was no longer boasting, but falling. Falling face forward into the dirt and showing no signs of getting back up. David had won.
What about you? Do you feel like God only wants you to do small things that nobody notices? It just may be that God is using these small jobs to prepare you for something great. 1 Corinthians 10 says “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” It worked for David, and it’s the best way for you to live your life, too.
Let me illustrate. I have watched people be rude in relationships to the point where it eventually ended a friendship.
There have been marriages which were destroyed over time by a controlling spouse.
And there have been habits, or little things, that others have tolerated or perhaps been unaware of that led to a downfall.
So which is it? Are we good at ignoring, and thus tolerating the little things? Or are we rationalizing, which any of us have done at some point? Is it a big deal or is it no big deal?
Case in point. A few years ago I was having a cup of coffee at Starbucks with a friend. While we were talking an attractive woman walked in. No problem. The fact is a guy can’t not notice an attractive woman.
However, the guy I was with did not simply notice the woman. He turned around a complete 180 degrees in his chair to continue to look. Noticing is far different than staring.
Now that’s a problem. I did not say anything, but I could see the handwriting on the wall. That is not healthy. Some would say, “It’s no big deal–guys do that all the time.”
Two problems. That is rationalization and toleration all wrapped up in one. The Bible says that “The wages of sin is death.” In other words, sin or destructive habits must not be tolerated or rationalized. Because you will not like the end result.
That is sin’s ultimate end. Death or destruction. Over time I watched this guy’s marriage fall apart as he eventually went after another woman. As I think back perhaps I should have said something because I have been around lots of guys, but this was a first for me. Most married guys tend to be a little more discreet.
Think about it. Turning around and continually watching attractive women must have become such a habit that he no longer thought about it, whether I was sitting there or not.
Take inventory of your own life. What small things are you tolerating? Take action today before they destroy something tomorrow.