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David and Goliath and Ike

By Tammy Davis


Most Junior Counselors love rest time.  They get a break while the kids are napping.  Not, Ike, one of my newest helpers.  Ike cannot deal with the quiet.  Ike knows his strengths and weaknesses.

It took me a while, but I finally figured out what this boy needed.  He needed to be on the move.  He needed to be able to talk to people.

I gave him a container of Clorox wipes and told him to wipe down every single door knob.

Most junior counselors would have walked out or pouted or called their parents to save them from this fate.  Not Ike.  He came back and asked me if he could wipe down Legos and toys and chairs.  He wanted to do more.  I told him to clean anything touched by little hands.  He ran out of wipes pretty quickly.  I gave him a new canister.  He was happy. I was happy.  The hallways were sparkling.

The Clorox incident happened on a Monday.  That previous Sunday, the children’s sermon had been about David and Goliath.  I zoned out and started mentally making my grocery list. Don’t tell the preacher, but I’ve heard that story since I was three years old.  I was prepared to be bored.  I knew the underdog story of David.  I knew the have-faith-in-God angle.  I grew up with the “sling that stone, little shepherd boy” message.

I was pretty confident I had learned everything there was to learn from David and Goliath.  I was wrong.  Turns out there was a piece of that story I missed.  I’m always nervous to paraphrase the Bible but basically King Saul tried to dress David like a warrior.  He was trying to make him something that he wasn’t.

1 Samuel, Chapter 17 verse 38 tells us that he dressed his son in his tunic.  He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.  David fastened his sword and tried walking around, but it didn’t feel right.

David was a shepard, not a warrior.    He knew the bronze helmet and heavy armor weren’t right for him.  It was just like Ike and naptime.

“I cannot go in these,” David said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

The rest, as we know, is history.  David, the shepard, defeated the mighty warrior Goliath.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Clorox incident happened the day after that sermon.  I think God has been trying to teach me this lesson for a very long time.

Aren’t we all stronger when we throw off what the world expects of us?  Aren’t we all better off when we are true to ourselves?

Young David and young Ike Meacham.  Two young men who know themselves and aren’t afraid to speak up and say, “I don’t work this way.  I want to work.  I want to serve, but I need to do it a different way.”

Know thyself.  That’s my new David and Goliath take away.  Know thyself and be true to yourself.

If David can do it, and Ike can do it, we all need to try.  We’ll be better off if we do.


Tammy Davis lives in Columbia, SC.  She loves working with junior counselors like Ike Meacham.