It is interesting to think about "go, do." When it actually comes down to it - do we really want to "go and/or do"? We've talked about the "going," even the "doing" but we are still sitting in our chairs. Depending on what it is that needs "doing" and where we need to "go" to do it we are now coming up with various excuses (sorry!! reasons!) why we aren't out there actually ready to go and do.
We've been talking, for the last few weeks, about the 5 stones David picked up before he faced Goliath. Today's readings are 1 Samuel 17:48 -- 49 and Mark 6:34 -- 44. David is now ready. He has his plan, his tools, knows his training and is ready to take on the "giant" he sees (pictures). What does David "do"? He runs toward Goliath "to meet him." (vs. 48) Then he takes one stone out of the bag, slings it and hits "the Philistine on the forehead." (vs. 49)
Jesus, in the Mark reading, tells the Disciples "you give them something to eat." (vs. 37) The Disciples are questioning this, big time (because their 'picture' is of a large crowd), about the where and the how much to spend. Jesus asks them to check on what they already have - 5 loaves, 2 fish (tools) - then directs them with what to do (plan). When they actually "do" what Jesus asks "they all ate and were satisfied" (vs. 42) with 12 baskets 'left over' (vs. 43). Jesus has given the Disciples a different picture, solves the problem, feeds everyone with leftovers and then sends the Disciples into the boats and dismisses the crowd. (vs. 45)
So......... It does give some interesting thoughts to "go/do." We know what God is calling us to but what picture do we see -- the 'giant,' the crowd? Are we looking for, and using, the tools God has given us? What about the training we've had and/or the plan we see? Even if we don't, like David, run toward the giant - can we 'go and do'? Jesus is showing us God IS with us - can we, like the Disciples, 'do'? What 'giants' are you facing?
What is your favorite hobby, sport or pastime? I mean your favorite thing "to do" when you are relaxing, taking vacation and/or actually have some spare/free time. Ya'll know mine is my needlework - especially the knitting and quilting. They are more than 'just' a hobby, for me, they are the way I can keep my fingers busy so I can pay attention - in classes or meetings. Even more important, for me, they are a way of spending time listening for what God is trying to tell me. How do you do that? Do you garden? Fish? Draw? What ever it is you do are you at the same skill level you started at?
Our Scripture readings today are in Samuel 17 and Mark 6. Jesus is working with the disciples, just back from being "sent out." They have "reported to him all they had done and taught." (v. 30) They are so busy they do "not even have a chance to eat" Jesus says "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (v. 31) David also points out God's help and the training/practice he has had by referring to protecting the sheep from lions and bears. He also tells Saul "The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine." (v. 37)
The Disciples, and David, have had "practice/training" at what they are doing. Time with God, learning and growing their skills. David will spend a lot of time with God sharing thoughts, praises and prayers -- we call it the book of Psalms. They spent time actually "doing" what God called them to AND the time with God.
Do we do that? We take continuing education for our jobs, our careers, even for a favorite hobby. Do we take Bible studies to strengthen our relationship with God? Do we take time with God? Is it easy? No! Do we need it? YES!! How can you "come away" (Mark 6:31) with God each day?
How are you at planning? Some people are better at organizing than others. Some plans are 'only' a to do list. Some plans are the to do list but also include the order of doing and the how of doing. Some people have the to do list every day. Some people 'only' have a to do list when faced with changes and challenges. And some, like me, it is kind of a mixture depending on how things are going.
Last week we focused on the tools God has given to each of us to face said changes/challenges/giants. The week before was how we 'pictured' what was happening - do we see the giant or a human defying the King of Kings? This morning we are working on planning. David, in 1 Samuel 17:45--47 is pointing out not only how God is with him but what is going to happen. "I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty" (v. 45), David will "strike" the giant "down," (v. 46) and "all gathered here" will know "that the Lord saves." David has a plan.
David knows God is with him, knows what tools he will use (stones and sling shot) and how the outcome will be handled. David has kept his relationship with God strong, he has even consulted with others but ignored their "you can't do this" - "you are only a young man" (v. 33), and is now telling people how it will work.
What about us? Are we staying strong in our relationship with God? Are we following where God is leading knowing God IS with us? Do we know what tools we will use -- our own skills or someone else's? Can we talk to someone else for their input and guidance? A plan.......something to think about!
What kind of tools do you use? I, personally, use scissors, rotary cutter, straight edge and a cutting mat. I have screw drivers, hammers, pliers and a few other things -- I had them and then also got my Dad's - I even know how to use. Yesterday I brought, into the house, "power" tools -- so my son could do some "honey do" things for me. What tools do you use?
We are still facing our giants, 1 Samuel 17:39-40, where David is preparing to face Goliath. David saw a man who has defied the armies of the Living God" (v. 37) while others saw a very large "giant." Saul has agreed, and tried to help, David can take on Goliath. Verse 39 tells how David has even tried to use Saul's sword but takes the armor off. Verse 40 tells us he takes "his staff in hand, chose five smooth stones......and with his sling in his hand." What tools would you get?
Each of us has gifts God has given us, ways we can face our own 'giants,' and ways we can help others to face their 'giants.' Each 'giant' requires different tools for the fight. Some 'giants' we can face one time, and move on -- maybe being more careful but moving on -- like changes caused by new babies, weddings and graduations. Some 'giants' we continue to face daily -- like cancer or other health issues, and/or being the primary care giver.
We do, however, have the tools to face these issues. We have the gifts God has given to each of us, individually and as community, to feel and know God's presence with us AND the tools to fight the 'giant.' We need to look at, and know, what tools we have (hammer, screw drivers) and what tools we need to ask for (power tools) to face our own 'giant' and to help others face theirs. What tools do you use?