Big Handfuls of Motivation
What motivates me?
Well, when I have to do chores I don’t like I turn up the music real loud. When I actually go to the gym, I put it in earbuds, find the fast-paced workout station on Pandora, and try to keep myself from actually singing out loud. When I’m driving and talking to God? Music is on the radio. What speaks to my soul? Music.
I suppose it’s pretty easy for me to answer that question.
Where is the most motivating place you’ve ever visited?
This one had me over thinking. The projects on a mission trip? The Dominican Republic on a honeymoon where I saw a level of poverty that was downright unbelievable? Or was it a 21 day trip across Europe while I was in high school?
My mind kept traveling back to that Statue of David in Florence, Italy. To the grapefruit-sized lump in my throat, the tears streaming down my cheeks, the unspeakable awe that shocked me to my core. It wasn’t the first art museum or piece of art we had stopped to look at. I wasn’t a fan of art, couldn’t tell you who had sculpted the statue nor why it was famous, and I had dreaded the days we were to spend in Italy.
Nothing had prepared me for Michelangelo’s David. Or for how my perspective might change immediately upon seeing him in person.
But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about who God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22
David was a young man in this statue. A son. A brother. No one thought he was anything special.
Yes. I knew all about David of the Bible before I went to Europe.
The boy in that marble killed a giant with a sling and a stone. Then cut off his head.
From shepherd to king because he had faith in God even when God told Him things that sounded impossible and crazy.
I stood there embarrassed by my unexpected reaction to this piece of rock. Struggling to make sense of the overwhelming emotions coursing through my veins.
“Look at his hands.” I barely registered the vague whispering behind me. I was lost in my own experience.
“Yeah. That’s really odd. Why do you think they’re so large. nothing else is.” Teenage giggling.
The shy girl, with no friends on this trip who desperately wanted to fit in and be accepted spoke almost against her will. Forcefully, as if she knew art, knew what she was talking about, and all the hushed whispering around the statue ceased as everyone leaned in to listen.
“Man hands on a boy’s body. He was just a boy, but God choose him over all the possible warriors to kill a giant, Goliath. He had the weight of the world in his hands. God knew he would need big hands to fulfill his calling.”
“Can you imagine being a young boy with that kind of responsibility weighing on your shoulders?”
I never made eye contact with anyone during my soliloquy. Eventually people started whispering again or wandered off. I’ll never know if anyone else there that day was impacted as deeply as I was.
See, I knew the history of King David. His best friend, Johnathon. Johnathon’s father,David’s boss and the current king, trying kill David. David becoming king. David being faithful. David being a failure. David finding redemption from the Lord in spite of his many sins.
And in looking at that statue of David that day, I saw myself. Way too young to have the amount of responsibility and burdens I felt I had. And everyone always compared my hands to that of a grown man. It wasn’t fair to have God put that much on someone so young.
David may have come full circle, but he lost a lot in the process. His own childhood. His children. His reputation for being faithful to God. However, no matter how bad things got he was described as a man after God’s own heart.
I started to recognize God’s purpose for me that day. (I’ve never said that to anyone before. I’m not certain I’ve ever admitted it to myself.) And it scared me. Truth be told, I got a little angry too.
I never asked for these hands. Nor these shoulders. I’m just a teenager from a small rural town. I’m not even good enough to wipe the dust from your feet.
Yet time and time He reminds me that I’ve been redeemed.
A little boy. A stalker. A pervert. A murderer. God not only used him, He still chose to redeem him.
What excuses are we offering God for why we can’t live out the big things He’s been telling us to do? A whole civilization might be waiting for you to slay their Goliath. Or me.
Are we really going to keep making excuses? Or are we going to accept the word of the One who made us with big hands so we can get the job done?