Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Goliath

I ran into Goliath today at a Christian bookstore. I had a gift certificate that I wanted to spend and only about 20 minutes to find something, check out, and leave so I could get back to work in time to eat. Then a short, older man approached me. He asked if I needed help finding anything. I made some goofy remark about having 50 books already at home that I still need to read. I told him thank you and thought that was it.

That was not it. Not for Goliath.

The standard reply of "Just let me know if you need anything" was not uttered. The man did not move. Without missing a beat he questioned,

"Would you prepare a meal and not eat it? Why buy a book and not read it?"

Suddenly I realized that I wouldn't be spending my giftcard today. I started to wonder if I was going to make it back to work on time. I started to wonder if I would make it home by dinner. Then something about the man changed before my very eyes. He began to grow.

He told of stories of being in his home country, of his family, and of his faith. With every word he spoke he grew larger and stronger. He told me about being an atheist and how he was saved by his a tract given to him by a friend. He spoke of his love for God's Word and how he has read hundreds of books.

It was a nice story and a great testimony. If I was not in a hurry I would have probably sat and listened for a while. However, I WAS in a hurry. I told him a couple times that I had to go, but he kept me. I was already upset, but then he said that "Christian rock" is a contradictory term. I don't like much Christian rock, but it is a valid form of Christian music.

After he poured out his life history and life lessons before me he looked ten feet tall. I searched my pocket for a few smooth stones and a sling, but could only find my cell phone; which showed me how long it had been since I first entered the store. 25 minutes...

I showed every sign of disgust that I knew how to show as he continued to talk - apparently American body language was not one of the hundreds of books that he had read. He asked if I regularly read the Bible. I told him, "Yes. Well, sort of. Not everyday". That was a stretch. I have fallen flat on my face when it comes to reading my bible. He said the number of meals that I eat in a day should equal the number of chapters that I read. Finally, he asked me if I knew Jesus - which I clearly did not display to him that I did. As I grew smaller and he grew taller he finally released me - 30 minutes after I entered the store.

I took the long walk back to my car feeling dejected and angry. I growled and scowled all of the way back to the office. People were intentionally annoying me on the way. Some people were driving "like grandmas" - way to slow; while others were driving "like maniacs" - too fast to pass.

I scarfed down my food and hurried back to my desk. What a waste of a lunch. I felt so angry that he wasted my time. I felt so angry that I didn't get to buy anything.

I felt angry...but it was not any of those reasons. Sure, I would have liked to pick up something with my gift card, but I could do that any day. What upset me so much? I thought for a minute as I relived that 30 minutes in my mind.

I saw Goliath again. Tall, proud Goliath. He's taller than me. He is smarter than me. He is everything I am not. He succeeds where I fall short.

Then I pictured him again. He was short, older man. He asked me if I needed help finding anything. Apparently, I needed more help than I realized. He was my Goliath - my lack of commitment to prayer and Bible study, my fear of witnessing, my anger, and my short temper. In 30 minutes all of my greatest stumbling blocks were before my eyes. Goliath stood before me. Unlike David, I did not slay the giant. I did not overcome all of my greatest obstacle. I stood humbled.

This Goliath did not have to lift a finger to deliver a crushing blow to my ego.

People have a misconception about Christians. Because I am a Christian I do not think that I am perfect in some way. I know other nonChristians that are better people than I am. I want to work on that. The most important truth that I cling to is that I am saved despite the type of person I am. I am far from perfect. I thank God for His wonderful grace that overcomes my worst behavior. God does not excuse me - He has given me a good whipping from time to time - but He forgives me. What a friend we have in Jesus! Praise God for forgiveness!

No comments:

Post a Comment