Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” 1 Sam. 17:28,29 (NKJV)
In this cartoon I saw once there was a teacher standing before a Sunday School class. He had written on the chalkboard the words, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” One of the students had his hand raised and was saying, “I don’t want to be first or last: I want to wallow somewhere in the middle.”
On the sitcom, The King of Queens, the main character, Doug was being encouraged by his wife to give his “big boss” a card congratulating him on twenty years with the company. Doug complained that none of his co-workers were doing that. She thought that was the perfect reason to do it, to which he responded, “You see, you want me to stand out from the crowd, while I, on the other hand, want to get lost in that very crowd.”
Eliab, David’s older brother, was apparently that kind of soldier. He did not want to do anything to draw attention to himself – especially during a crisis such as Israel faced with the taunting Philistine giant, Goliath. He was mad at David for speaking up.
“Keep your mouth shut, kid! You don’t know what you’re doing. You are in over your head,”was his essential message to his kid brother.
Eliab was happy to wallow about in the middle. If his younger brother was willing to take chances he wouldn’t, how would that look?
Things haven’t changed much in the past few thousand years. Those who are too frightened or comfortable to do anything, those who are satisfied with mediocrity and the status quo are still trying to douse the flames of ambition in others.
“Don’t work so hard. Don’t achieve too much.”
“Don’t raise the bar too high.”
“Slow down, kid. You are going to make the rest of us look bad.”
These are the politics of the unmotivated.
I hope you are not buying what they are selling.
If working hard is upsetting the apple cart where you work, then upset it. It is obviously filled with bad apples anyway. If your “A” destroys the curve in Psychology, then flatten that thing. If you have the rock that can bring down the giant, then sling it! Whatever you can do, you ought to do.
God never asked of anyone what he could not give. But he does expect of everyone his best. A can-do attitude is a Christian trademark. (See Phil.4:13.)
Be humble. Be kind. Be understanding. But by all means, be the best that you can be!
A Thought for Today: “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” -Elbert Green Hubbard (1856-1915)
A Prayer For Today: “Father, give me the boldness and the courage to stand out from the crowd. Make me a giant killer. Help me to seize the opportunity to do something great – and then give you the glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”