Watching actors on stage bow at the end of a play as the audience applauds and noticing their exuberant faces has always touched me deeply. Knowing there had been many hours of collective effort, I could sense their camaraderie, feel their sense of accomplishment, and see their pride in being part of something bigger than any individual. All of this was done to accomplish a common goal: for each performer to work hard to provide an excellent product that would bring value to each person in the audience, whether it was learning something from the play, experiencing sheer delight, or both. In effect, each actor chosen for a role has to slay their own Goliath to achieve a collective triumph. Maybe it was a fear of failure and embarrassment or of disappointing all who came to view the performance. David was “just” a shepherd boy, but his action led to a collective victory for all of Israel.
In my case, I had not been chosen to face my Goliath when, with great trepidation, I risked trying out for a play after already being rejected a few times before. When I decided to try again anyway, it was for a play with a heavy emphasis on youth, singing, and dancing, none of which are qualities that leap into my mind as ones I possess. I arrived at the audition and sat in a reception room with beautiful young girls who had their portfolios, music sheets in hand, and dancing shoes on while I had my reading glasses, car keys, and Tums! The girls were seasoned and prepared. I was neither!
One by one, I listened as they went into the audition room and belted out some of the most beautiful music. What in the world was I doing here? I was many years their senior and not as experienced in acting or music (to put it VERY mildly). Three times, I got out of my chair to leave, and three times I made myself sit back down. There was a risk in showing up to audition, but it felt a bigger risk to my sense of self-worth and pride if I left. I decided to “throw my rock” at Goliath if I had the chance because it was all I had.
It would have been a ridiculous thing to compare myself to these young ladies. Doing so and leaving before even auditioning would have robbed me of the possibility of getting a small part in the play. I did get a small part, and in hindsight, if I had given into my fears, I would have lost this wonderful opportunity.
This story reminds me of the kingdom of God. Not everyone can have a star role, but it takes all the participants of a play working together to make the play a success. It takes all of us in the body of Christ participating in our “roles” that God has given us. Paul reminds us of the analogy of the kingdom of God and the human body. It takes all parts to make a whole, and no one part is more important than another. I Corinthians 12 says, “Just as a body, though one has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. Now, if the foot should say, because I am not a hand, I don’t belong to the body, it would not, for that reason, stop being a part of the body. And if the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has place the parts in the body every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is there are many parts, but one body.”
Many of us do not know the importance of our God-given role in the body of Christ. It is so easy to compare ourselves with someone seemingly with a more important role. May we all understand that each of us is important to God’s story. His story is important, and He has invited us to partner with Him in showing the world His glory.
Just like David, we may only have a “rock to throw,” and I encourage you to be willing to throw it. Saul was from a tribe that was known for their skills on the battlefield. But their skills did no good that day at the battle of Goliath because they did not use them. Then along came David, the youngest of eight brothers. His older brothers were part of the king’s army, but they were not willing to use what they had, and instead, the fear of Goliath stopped them. David came on the scene and could not stand seeing the Lord being mocked. He took what he had, used it, and became part of something much bigger than himself. As we know, he later became the king of Israel.
God has a plan for you in His kingdom. We often do not know specifically what that is, but let me challenge you to get out there and “throw your rock” and see what happens.