I had the privledge of being with our four to six year old children’s church group this week. I forgot how much the teach me in the moment. I remember how much I can enjoy the children. They bring a fresh break from my normal routine.
We were learning about the story of David and Goliath. After the lesson and all that goes into class time, I planned a game to bring home the story. I wanted something they would remember. The object of the game was to get the stone in the cup that was over nine feet away. Reminding them David’s stone had to reach Goliath in the right spot to kill him.
Each of the children took a turn being David. As you can imagine, none of them was successful with the single stone. Although David had five, it only took one. After a few rounds, they tired of trying. They declared David was successful because of God, which was a wonderful point I wasn’t even teying to make. I reminded them with God nothing is impossible.
A few of the children wanted to continue on. They were up for the challenge even after the rest of the group had moved on to just playing. The few were persistant and two of the kids actually got the stone in the cup after many tries.
One of the older boys kept going and going even after everyone else was done. As he kept trying and failing, I told him that even though David had only used one stone, David had practiced a lot before that time. I reminded him that David had killed the lion and the bear. I told him, I was sure much of David’s time tending the sheep was spent sharpening his slingshot skills. David was prepared when everyone else had given up because of this.
The little boy said “Yea, I’m David. the rest of the class is like the Israelites, they gave up.” He did eventually get the stone in the cup a couple times knocking the cup over as it entered. He was so proud of himself. I heard him as he left church telling his mom about the lesson.
I thought about the young child’s comment as I left. How many times do I look at preparation time as wasted time? I would love to think that I have learned the lesson, but too often I give up in the preparation. I grow weary of not seeing the progress I expect. I cower back in fear when the enemy comes against me because my faith isn’t where it needs to be in the moment.
When I do see success in the long term, I know the only reason I was is due to preparation. I can make the win because I put the time in during practice ahead of time. Some thing’s I am great at putting in the preparation time, but too often I get discouraged in the preparation, especially as a task oriented person.
I want to have the perserverance of David. I want he stick-to-it-ness of the child not willing to stop until he showed he could hit the mark. I want to be the person that is ready to face the battle, regardless of how big the enemy appears. I want to have the faith to stand when everyone else is cowering back. I want to be the person who never, ever gives up.