I heard Kathie Lee Gifford talk about it today, those words describing David’s assault on the giant in I Samuel 17:40:
Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
David picked up five stones then went out to slay the giant.
The Today Show hostess, singer and author was talking about her new book, The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi: My Journey into the Heart of Scriptural Faith and the Land Where It All Began (this woman never has been at a loss for words). She also mentioned her children’s book, The Gift That I Can Give, which helps parents teach their children that they already have all the gifts they need to make a difference in the world.
Kathie Lee spoke words that are challenging me today when she quoted a question posed by the Rabbi: “What’s your stone?” In other words, how are you using what God’s given you to slay giants in your world?
I can’t stop thinking about the Rabbi’s challenge, though I already know the answer. My stone is this — the ability to write. So, I’m asking myself this question: am I using my “five stones” to slay giants today? Most days, I am not. I’m just enjoying the sound of my own words, throwing them out with the hope that they’ll matter to someone….anyone.
I’m challenged to pray on this, to ask God: “Please show me YOUR best use of my five stones.”
As I meditated today on this question and my prayer, I was reminded of the prayer spoken by the prophet Habakkuk thousands of years ago as he surveyed violence and devastation in his world:
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?
Habakkuk continued to question God and the Lord answered with this:
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
It’s easy to allow my soul to become “puffed up” as I carry my stones around, showing them to my writing friends, to people with power, seeking out someone who could tell me their worth. But, my stones have no worth until they are used to make a difference in this world.
I’m voicing the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi as I ask for the Lord’s guidance in writing the vision:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
I’m writing again for five quick minutes (okay, more like 30 minutes this time), this time on the writing prompt “pray”. Catch other essays at Five Minute Friday.