(I'll apologize in advance for any typos here. This was happening pretty fast and I was tired when I was through. If I feel like it later, I'll fix them.)
Smoke drifts low through the camp as soldiers cower and cry. Their strong bodies melted to quivering slugs in corners of irreverent hiding.
And here I stand, alone. An unproven warrior undoubtedly ready for war. Too young for such resolve, too determined to be retreated. And I stand alone.
Over the fearful whimpers of those much more prepared, I hear the taunts scream up the hillside begging me for battle!
And, I will give him what he wants! I will bring the fight to him and I will do this my way. How dare he defy my righteous cause! How dare he threaten the steady course my God has set before me! Even alone, I'm never alone and I will not let the cause of my nation or God be defeated by the likes of this.
Somewhere in the surge of confidence and adrenaline, the volume of my pounding heart fades both the instigating insults of my enemy and the unsolicited advise of my commanding officer.
The only ends of defeat are found in the means of moving...moving forward.
I must meet this enemy.
There is no victory to be had hiding in tents. No advance in simply maintaining ground. Staying in the camp is simply defeat, delayed.
I must meet this enemy.
I feel the eyes boring into my flesh as I begin my march to battle. Some behold the image of a champion...some see only a fool.
I've heard the legends of my imposing combatant. I've been told of his tactics and schemes...and OBVIOUS exaggerations of immense stature.
"Surely this was their intimidated perception," I reassured myself, as my fingers subconsciously slid across my handful of absurd ammunition.
But as I walked into the valley and lifted my head to the sound of thunderous laughter...I am found myself proven wrong. My estimations were obviously dead wrong.
In the much-too-near distance I saw a figure I could not fathom. Legend had come to life and was bellowing of my merciless death and defeat.
Fear brought bile to surface in my mouth as I tried desperately to remember my just cause for being in that valley.
That was not the hungry lion that sought my father's sheep. That was not a bear seeking food.
That was not the enemy of my charge.
That was my enemy.
Providential destiny brought me here, and now all I wanted to do wass run. To run from my enemy.
"I will rip you to shreds and feed you to dogs!" His threats were a task well within the abilities of my giant enemy.
Although in appearance superhuman, the figure that stood before was, in reality, human.
Purpose was slowly rolling across my mind and, with it, a recalling of past victories.
Courage flooded my brain's surface, bringing clarity and focus to my thoughts.
Clarity brought something different.
Just below the gravelly surface of his insolence, I detected a more frightening sound, similarity.
Almost telescopically, through heavy head protection...I recognized eyes.
I know this person.
He was my enemy. In arrogant self-assurance, he was insuring utter failure. He boastfully recounted every disadvantage I embodied. The sole purpose of his existence in this moment was to seal my defeat.
My enemy was "anti" every good thing for which I was ready to do battle. He was against my future, my dreams, my hope, my destiny. He stood in stark and rebellious defiance to everything God had intended for my life.
He was my enemy.
And standing in the shadow of his hulking existence I realized my most terrifying thought.
I knew him.
More intimately than my knowledge of any other man, I knew this man.
Louder and louder, more vehemently he shouted...insult after insult.
Each one striking my heart with more fear and dread than could ever be known by the sword in his massive scabbard. The intensity and heat of every hissing word pierced my unarmored chest.
And every word more convincing than the last.
Salty tears stung my eyes and blurred my vision as the doom of impending defeat drowned my soul with every oppressive indictment.
No! I entered this valley with purpose, resolve.
I will not shrink back.
I had to beat this man I knew.
But not just a man I knew.
A man I created.
He could not win.
The familiar straps of leather in my right hand separated almost instinctively as my left hand slipped silently into my pouch. Almost without thought a seemingly-impotent stone fell evenly into my sling.
And with it, a battle-cry began to build from some place deep within...some place where soul, spirit and flesh mix in unity.
As that sonic bedlam burst forward from my lungs, somehow time and space ceased their movement.
My arm began to spin forward as my bare feet moved swiftly across the valley's rocky floor. At full speed I ran toward the giant I knew so well!
Spinning my sling over and over and over and over and then...release! This smooth projectile rocketed forward with blinding speed as the giant's insulting laughter still sounded out...then suddenly ended.
Seconds took hours to pass as the now silent giant stood stunned.
My running never stopped and, just as I reached my self-created nemesis, he fell.
As quickly as his lifeless body shook the earth, I removed the sword from his side and the vain protection from the giant's head.
With a surge of strength beyond my own, I lifted the sword high and swiftly brought it down.
I brought finality to my enemy's fatality.
This giant who stood to bring failure to all of who I was.
This giant who stood to prevent all that I could be.
This enemy that I created.
This enemy that I knew.
We've all heard this story before. The ancient legend of overcoming insurmountable odds. We have translated this story to football teams, struggling bands and family businesses.
The untrained David defending future and hope...the licentious giant intimidating us with threats and size.
My greatest desire is that the world would change. I call it my Crazy Idea. When everyone else is writing off the world and reading it's eulogy, I see hope. And I see that hope being realized through love.
I want things to change. But before I can change things for others, I need to change me. There's so much about me that is not where or what it should be...and I need me to change.
But there is an enemy to change. There is an enemy to the life I need to live. There is an enemy to the world changing. There is an enemy to my Crazy Idea.
In tears I confess...that enemy is ME! It is the giant I have created physically, emotionally, relationally, financially.
Just like Goliath stood and cursed everything righteous, just like Goliath threatened the plan of God in that valley...he stands here now, bellowing the same insults and threats. And he is simply me.
The great hope is this: THAT ENEMY CAN DIE!!!
Not me literally, but all the things about me that fight against what I was created to be.
And not you literally, but all those things that fight against what you were created to be.
As you and I kill our giants, we can not only change ourselves, but WE ARE INDEED CHANGING THE WORLD!
Who will join me?
Who will identify their own personal giant?
Who will refuse to stand paralyzed with fear at that giant's taunts?
LET'S DO THIS!
In a love I can't articulate,
Ollie Horne, a giant slayer.