My son, 8 year old Tate is afraid of Chickens.
This poses a problem because one of Tate's chores is to feed our chickens and gather their eggs.
So..... 8 year old Tate walks trepidatiously towards the coop, mustering his courage, sometimes with his plastic army gear breastplate (from an army costume last year) in the mornings.
Watching him... he carefully scoops the meal for the chickens who, by this time, are squawking. With the nimbleness of a ninja he opens the coop door while the chickens rush at him, he plops the meal in and rapidly shuts the door. The food is enough distraction that he can then creep to the back of the coop and through the trap door collect the eggs.
My Son is a Hero.
Day after day he faces his fears ... and overcomes.
I remember the first time he shared with me he was afraid of the chickens; it was humorous to me and while my eyes were full of laughter I hid it from him. I realized that the chickens were to him what the size of Labrador is to me, and they have beaks and claws.
I'm proud of him.
Today on the Jesus Rock radio station... a song about David and Goliath played. (I'm secretly a Jesus Rock junkie) ;)
It opened the opportunity to have a conversation about David and Goliath with my older 13 year old son as I drove him to school.
I explained the story to him the way I see it.
David was a harp player who herded sheep. He was the little guy.
Day after day he watched the flock, and as he watched them, he practiced perfecting his sling shot aim. Day after day, raccoon after raccoon, dog after dog, he aimed, he shot and he protected the small flock. Once... a Lion encroached upon the sheep... and he mastered it.
Ultimately, David faced Goliath. We all know the story. Only, on this day, it wasn't a small woolly band of sheep he guarded but a kingdom; families, men, women, and children. Refusing any armor, he bested Goliath. With sure shot and faith he killed the giant.
I love the "little guy" analogy and that through God all things are possible, that's the way I was taught the story in church as a child. As an adult, the part of the story I like best is that David practiced day after day.
He couldn't have guessed while he shepherded the small helpless herd that he would someday stand on the precipice of saving a nation, but he practiced and perfected his craft.
He loaded his sling shot and aimed and threw... again and again and again.
His story teaches me to be my best, do my best, shot after shot, day after day. Goliath fell because of hundreds of hours of faith and small challenges and adversaries that David had faced before.
We are like David. Often our day to day triumphs seem small and often we overcome challenges that seem like they don't matter, our responsibilities are fragile sheep. As we stay steadfast, as we continuously choose integrity, health, service, love; when the Giant comes, we are ready.
Our aim is perfect. Our faith is sure.
And YES, God stands with us- but we hold the sling shot. We must take aim. We must throw.
Stay steadfast. We never know the Goliath in our future path...but we CAN know that the small and simple shots we take today, the small and seemingly insignificant triumphs, matter. They create our character and our iron core of a Warrior, a Truth Teller, a Hero. The Champion, the Victor.
And... so I see Tate. Facing his giant day after day. Overcoming. And I am proud. My Hero.