Sometimes we get glimpses of our true identity. We get to do something that suits us perfectly, something that seems to quicken our soul.
Maybe it’s playing music. Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s serving in a particular way or creating something or working on a specific project.
But then Monday comes.
And that thing that seemed so alive looks like a flower three days after full bloom, when the edges start to wilt, as if on fire, and the tips of the stem begin to brown. Sometimes it feels like life might be better without those glimpses of who we were meant to be.
David is slowly becoming my favorite character in the Bible: passionate, intense, and yet sometimes a total screw up. This sounds familiar to me. This “man after God’s own heart” was so many things: a shepherd, an adulterer, a king, a murderer, a worshiper. an egomaniac. This gives me hope. This keeps the hounds of perfection at bay.
In one of my previous posts I wrote about how David’s knowledge of his identity as the next king of Israel probably gave him confidence to fight Goliath (The Day I Stared Down a Mack Truck). But looking back at that story now, I realize I skipped something. There was a monumental step that happened in David’s life, right after he was anointed as king in front of his family.
He had to go back to herding sheep.
How do you think that felt, the morning after Samuel poured the horn of oil on his head, to put on his dirty garments, pick up his rod and his staff and his slingshot, and walk back into the wilderness with the sheep?
Did he mutter to himself, “But I’m a king now”?
Did he mope on the hills and take backhanded swings at the sheep, wishing it was time for him to lead people instead of animals?
Maybe he just refused to go back out? Maybe he just sat in his room, waiting to be king?
I don’t think David did any of those things, at least not for long, because, only a few verses after his anointing, we hear King Saul say, “Send me [the son of Jesse] who is with the sheep.”
After being anointed as king, David went back to the flock. Back to the humdrum life. Back to work.
Back to the reality of a Monday morning.
And back to slinging stones.
The stone-slinging is that one thing that’s part of his identity, that one thing that’s going to get him out of those sheep pastures and on to the throne. He doesn’t even know it yet, but slinging a stone into the forehead of a giant will be the catalyst, the beginning of everything.
Such a small thing, slinging stones. Protecting the sheep. Yet he kept doing it, day after day.
What’s the one little thing you do? What’s the one, seemingly nonsensical thing you feel called to do every day, the thing that quickens your spirit?
Working on cars?
Taking care of your kids?
The little things, sometimes they take a lot of discipline, but do them every day. Keep slinging stones. Some day, probably in a way you could never imagine, the seeming ordinariness of this everyday task will line up with the thing you’ve been anointed to do. Some day the stone-slinging will lead to a giant slowly falling to the ground, and the thing you were anointed to do will appear, clear and real as a shooting star.
When that happens, will you be ready? Will you have spent your days preparing?
Or will you still be sitting in your room sulking, wishing away another Monday morning, wishing you were king?
What does your stone-slinging look like these days? What small thing are you doing, believing that some day it will lead to something greater?