Word from the Pastor

Ready? Advance!

Who among us doesn’t enjoy a good underdog story? Whether it’s the least likely team in the league who crushed the incumbent winners, or it’s the 5-foot Jewish shepherd-boy who slayed the 9-foot giant, most of us cheer for the doggedly determined underdogs. Why is that? I suspect it’s because few of us readily identify with giants, but most of us naturally identify with underdogs.

The classic underdog story is told in 1 Samuel 17 – the renowned story of David versus Goliath.

Why did David choose his slingshot over Saul’s armour and sword? Was it merely because Saul’s armour and sword were not his size? Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, David and Goliath, shed some light on this question. He defends, a sword is a weapon designed to be used only in hand-to-hand combat, whereas a slingshot is a weapon designed to be used only at a distance. Gladwell argues, victors use what fits best in their hands – that which they have grown to master over time. Shepherd-boy, David, didn’t wait until predators were within sword distance before defending his sheep; instead, he drove them away even before his sheep ever sensed they were in any danger. That’s how underdogs drop giants.

Truth is, David wasn’t the only underdog in this story. Each of the Israelite soldiers were underdogs as well. They were all well-trained, skilled soldiers; yet they were fear-stricken, quaking in their army boots. One-by-one they retreated in fear from the battle lines. But not David. He refused to retreat in life. David not only refused to retreat in the presence of his enemy, he doggedly advanced! Therein lies another lesson to learn from David: only when underdogs refuse to retreat, and instead doggedly advance, will the defiant giants in our lives drop like dead flies. Gladwell put it this way: “Boys step back and men step forward.” How true. Dare I ask, which one are you?

MEN, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY YOU CAN REGISTER FOR CLA’s “MEN’S ADVANCE: NO RETREAT!” at Rockridge Canyon on June 7-9. Stop quaking, shaking, and retreating. Let’s start advancing! Our wives, children, coworkers, and church need us to walk and live as men of valor. Regardless of what Goliaths we are facing, when we advance together in God’s power, we will remain standing, while we drop those defiant giants to the ground. Ready? “Advance!”