Upon first glance, there is nothing special or spectacular about a rock. There is no luster, no shine, no flashing lights…just a plain ordinary rock sitting on a bed of dirt. When you think of something “ordinary” it just doesn’t get much simpler than a rock lying in the dirt! It seems to be human nature to look past objects we consider typical or ordinary. People tend to find things that are simple much less interesting than something more extravagant. When something becomes familiar, we start to look past it as opposed to looking at it. Luckily, God sees greatness inside the people we may think of as ordinary, familiar, and typical.
What we may consider ordinary, God has other plans for. The familiarity we have with ourselves doesn’t allow us to see the greatness we have stored up inside. The reason we struggle with issues in our lives is because we do not think we possess the skills of know how to overcome what we must overcome. However, God has instilled gifts inside each of us and designed us each to uniquely handle the problems we face in our lives, and it is our responsibility to uncover them by asking God to help us see the greatness He has instilled inside us.
What you think of as ordinary in your own lives will often times end up being the biggest blessings you have if you allow God to show you the way. You already possess skills and blessings which are unique to you in such a way that you are the only person in the world that can actually do the things you do, how you choose to do them. There are many similar skills that other people may possess, but only you have the inert ability to perform and use the skills God has blessed you with in the exactly way you use them.
We’ve all heard the story of David & Goliath, where an “ordinary” Jewish boy named David overpowers the Philistine Giant named Goliath by using his shepherd’s sling and an ordinary rock. The part of the story that many people do not know, or remember hearing, is that David was only there on the battlefield to bring food to his brothers and to the commander as per his father’s request. David was a deliver boy! He ends up running up to the battle line just before the main fighting began to find out how his brothers were so he can bring back a report of their wellbeing to his father. As he is looking for his brothers, David hears some men discussing how afraid they are of Goliath and how Goliath is disgracing Israel by his defiance. David begins to get filled with courage and basically starts asking the men what the problem is, and why they cannot overpower this one man. David’s oldest brother sees him there and hears him talking with these men about Goliath and gets angry with him. He says to David, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” David’s brother is used to seeing David in their home life, and in his daily routines, and can only see him as a shepherd, barely good enough to watch a few sheep.
“Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” – meaning his voice is just as important as anyone else’s voice. David is basically standing up to his brother and becomes filled with courage. He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. Saul overhears that David is courageous and not afraid of Goliath and sends for him.
David tells Saul that he will fight Goliath and that no one should be afraid. Saul tells David that he is only a young boy and is not a warrior, and that Goliath is the champion of the Philistine army known for his fighting prowess and skill. David assures Saul that he has killed a bear and a lion before while guarding his flock, and insists on fighting Goliath.
Saul decides to allow this battle to take place and puts his own armor on David. Saul dresses David with his tunic, his shield, his sword, and his helmet. David tries walking around with the sword and the rest of the armor, but because it is unfamiliar to him and not natural for him to use, he takes the sword off and refuses to wear any armor. Instead, David decides to use what he is familiar with, so he chooses 5 smooth stones from near a stream of water running through their camp and puts them in his shepherd’s bag. Then he takes his staff and heads out to meet Goliath face to face. Goliath laughs at David and despises him because David does not bring the expected weapons to the fight, which does not show respect to Goliath. Goliath says, “What am I, a dog that you should come at me with sticks?” But David does not flinch, and he tells Goliath that a battle is not won with swords and spears, but that the power of God will deliver Goliath into his hands this very day.
Instantly this upsets Goliath and he charges toward David to engage him in battle. David, however, pulls out his shepherd’s sling and loads one of the rocks he pulled from the ground near the stream of water, and hails it at Goliath. The rock hits Goliath square between the eyes and kills him, which causes him to fall face down on the ground at David’s feet. David then takes Goliath’s sword out and cuts the giant’s head completely off! Once the enemy sees the power David has, and because he did not even have to use a weapon to defeat their champion, they begin to run away in fear.
Let’s break this down a bit!
Like I said, you may have heard the story before, but let’s take a minute to help you see how God finds amazing things where we can only see the ordinary. The first place to look is the simplistic existence of a rock sitting in the dirt which David uses to overpower the giant. This particular rock must have been sitting in the same spot for years and years, and no one ever thought they could use it to defeat a giant! The entire Jewish army was there with the rock, but until David arrived, no one else thought of it as a weapon to use against a giant. I’m sure most of the men there had been a shepherd at one time or another in their lives…we know David’s brothers were…so they knew how to use a sling and throw a rock, but they didn’t think of throwing a rock at a giant to kill him…only David uniquely thought this way.
Then there are David’s brothers who didn’t think of him as anything else than what they already knew him as…a shepherd. Obviously they didn’t think he was a very good shepherd either because they instantly ask him who he left the sheep with! It would have been easy for David to get side-tracked and start arguing with his brothers, saying that he knew what he was doing, and asking them why they are always picking on him…but instead David is on a mission. He doesn’t know exactly how he will complete the mission, but he begins it nonetheless. He ignores his brothers being upset with him and does what he needs to do in order to fulfill God’s desires. The whole time David knows that God is about to unleash something amazing in the presence of his enemies.
Then there is the perspective of Goliath. Goliath never for one second thinks that he will be defeated. He is the champion fighter of the Philistine army. Goliath thinks he has the world in his control. He is probably feared in every battle and by every man he has ever faced. So for David to come up to him and challenge him was a huge hit to Goliath’s pride. He decided to make an example out of David and tries to completely destroy him in front of his people. Goliath is surprised when he takes a rock between the eyes and falls face down at the feet of David. It’s interesting that Goliath, who represents all that is sinful and evil in this story, ends up being destroyed and “bowing” face down before David.
This acknowledges the greatness of God’s power being utilized through the commonness of David and a rock. Both of these things are ordinary without God, but with God they are amazing. All sin can and will be defeated by allowing God to be in control of the choices you make.
The rock symbolizes God’s salvation. It’s no mistake that Jesus is known as the rock of our salvation. When David throws the rock, he is throwing the power of God into the face of evil and sin. David proves that there is no such thing as ordinary when God is involved.
If there is an area in your life you think of as ordinary, ask God to help show you the greatness he has stored inside you. Reflect on the areas of your life where you think you have exhausted all your resources. Think about the amazing works God has done throughout history with people and situations everyone thought of as ordinary and ask Him to do the same in your life. Ask God to take control of your life and help you see how amazing you are today! Remember, you were designed for this!
For information on having Adventure Catholic come and share the Word with your parish for a parish mission talk, or for retreat information, please contact us today!