Bringing Fresh Eyes to an Old Story

Even if you've never read the actual story of David & Goliath in the Hebrew scriptures (in the book of Samuel here), you've no doubt heard the reference.  A "David & Goliath story" happens when a small, unlikely person battles and conquers a giant. The story is a classic for a reason.

David & Goliath speaks to the universal appeal of bravery and victory going to the underdog.  For people of faith, the story conveys God's provision, not by an earth-shattering miracle, but by God's using David's training as a shepherd to prepare him for this epic battle.

The idea of moving from a lowly position to a conquering hero is one which transcends time and culture.

In the video below, Malcom Gladwell re-frames the tale and makes a couple of unusual observations.  In this talk Gladwell takes nothing away from the original text, but uncovers thoughts which will appeal to the most analytical minds.

Take a look...

Now think about how the story applies to some of the situations you experience.  Perhaps you fall for two mistakes which David avoided:

1) Are you dismissive of your resources?

How often do you dismiss "all that you have" as being inadequate?  Part of what I love about David's story is how he operates from his strengths and refuses to approach a problem outside his skill set.

If you're like I am, it's easy to marginalize your gifts and resources because they don't compare well to the crowd or what's "typical" for the situation. In new or scary situations I'm tempted to look at my tools and think I'm ill-equipped for the job.

Sometimes I need to view my future hopes and dreams through the lens of my past, show a little bravery, and trust God's training.

David recognizes the value of what he can do without boasting or dismissing his skills (or his confidence in God).

2 ) Do you understand the challenge?

David also skips the second mistake by seeing his opponent accurately.   Challenges don't usually come with obvious solutions (otherwise someone else would have been the "conqueror"), but David finds his opponent's weakness. David saw what others missed and understood the opportunity to win.

While David's technique wasn't new, he alone applied his skills to the situation.

Do you understand how your skills fit the challenge you face?  Do you really understand the opponent?  I love Gladwell's closing remark...

"Giants are not always as strong as they seem, and sometimes a shepherd boy has a sling in his pocket."

Indeed.

What do you have in your pocket?