“Would you quit slinging those things so close to my head! It’s freaking me out.”
“Don’t worry man. I’m not aiming for your head, and if I was, you’d know it.”
I knew he was good with that slingshot, maybe even the best, but when rocks are sailing past your head at incalculable speeds it gives you the chills.
There wasn’t much else to do to kill time out here besides slinging rocks. I was just glad to spend a rare day with my best friend. The flocks hardly ever join up, but when they do it’s nice to be around someone other than sheep.
Being a shepherd is a lonely job.
“Do you ever think those skills will come in handy?” I asked.
“What skills? My slingshot skills?”
“No, your harp playing skills, you moron. Of course your slingshot skills.”
David was mostly a quiet kid, but there was something unique about him. Everyone thought he was detached, day dreaming in his own world, but there was a lot going on inside his head. He was smarter and stronger than most gave him credit for, his older brothers especially. They didn’t even care to listen to the stories about their little brother killing both a lion and a bear.
Another rock had soared over my head and struck a tree. Exactly on target.
“My dad says I’ve been throwing rocks ever since I was big enough to pick one up. It’s always been natural to me—the way God made me, I guess.”
I looked over at David who was tossing yet another rock into his sling as he eyed up his next target—another unexpectant tree about thirty spans away. It seemed David’s sheep were accustomed to rocks flying over their heads, none of them were even flinching. I, on the other hand, found myself cowering during every delivery.
On target again.
“Have you heard from your brothers lately? How’s the battle going?” I asked, trying to change the subject.
“I haven’t been up to camp in about a month but I don’t think there’s been much action,” he said in disappointment. ”I heard the enemy has a soldier who comes out twice a day to taunt us, God, and challenge us to a single combat.”
“And no one has stepped up to fight him?” I asked.
“Well, they say he is over nine feet tall, smells like a pig, and is uglier than a camel’s butt. Everyone is afraid of him—he’s never been defeated before—but that shouldn’t matter to us, we’re God’s people!’
I could sense the discontent in his voice and I shared his passion but I wouldn’t go out there and fight him, that guy sounded horrible. But that’s why I like David so much. He’s not afraid of anything and he know’s what needs to be done. That’s why he’s such a good shepherd, and a good friend.
“Hey, David. Here comes your dad.”
David turned around to see his father coming over the ridge straight at us carrying a basket and a sack of bread.
“Son, I need you to take these food supplies to your brothers up at the army’s camp. They’ve probably eaten everything I sent last time. You know your brothers, they have no self-control. Deliver these cheeses to their captian, and bring back a good word that they are safe and unharmed.”
“Father, do you think I will be able to see any action in the battle?”
“Probably not, son.” There was a seriousness in his father’s voice. A tone David hadn’t recognized lately.
He stepped in close to his father, “What is it father? Why are you so concerned?”
Jesse placed his hands on his son’s shoulders and stooped his head to meet eye to eye with his youngest and most precious son. “I will pray for your safe journey and arrival at camp. I won’t cease praying until you return home. Be safe. Take courage. My God be with you and may trust in Him with all your heart.”
David took the bread and basket of food from his father and turned to me, “Matthew, will you tend to my sheep until I return?”
“No problem, David—anything for you and your family.” I said. “Oh, and don’t forget your slingshot.”
“I got it, thanks friend. I never leave home without it.” David said with a big smile on his face.
David started off toward the camp, singing as he went. Bread in hand, basket on his shoulder, and that sling tucked into his belt.
This account is not biblical and should never replace the actual events and account of scripture: 1 Samuel 17
Do you think David used a slingshot for the first time against Goliath or do you think he had years of practice never knowing God was going to use that skill?
Has God given you a skill/talent/gift that you think you will never use for His glory?
Better yet, is there really any part of who you are that is off-limits for God to use for His glory?—I don’t think so.