A five-stone pause

David paused. He had been listening carefully to God as he prepared for this showdown with the feared warrior called Goliath. When King Saul offered David his personal armor, David quickly knew that restrictive, unfamiliar armor wasn’t part of his mission. He declined the king’s generous offer, took his sling, and found a brook (see I Samuel 17:38–50).

He paused long enough to pick up five smooth stones. As he stooped and put his hand into the brook, he could have chosen just one—after all, with the advantage of hindsight we know one stone was all he needed. And he didn’t just grab any handful. Perhaps he paused to carefully select exactly the right stones, five of them. The slingshot was a weapon he wielded with authority. He had proved it over the years by protecting his father’s sheep against lions and bears. 

Anyone who has skipped stones at the edge of a lake knows the importance of carefully selecting each one. Size, shape, weight, flatness, all enter into the final decision. Is it too thick, too thin? Too heavy, too light? Is there an edge for your index finger? I like to think that David was equally choosy about the size, shape, and weight of his stones. He knew the criteria for a stone to fly a true course. So he paused long enough to make a careful selection. Then, and only then, did he run to meet Goliath.

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Childlike trust
August 26, 2013

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