David’s Mighty Men – Part II

Some of you who follow my blog regularly might be asking, “Why the flying flip did she write about David’s Mighty Men as a follow-up to her bleeding heart emo post?” Well, most of you probably don’t use the endearing colloquialism “flying flip”, but you know what I mean.

Here’s why: Because in the midst of my emotional breakdown last week, I felt a whole lot like David in those stories – minding my own business, excelling at what is expected of me right where I am, unintentionally stumbling upon an opportunity for visibility, totally dominating that opportunity simply by being myself, encountering jealousy from insecure people, being attacked by said insecure people, attracting the depressed and disillusioned, and ultimately triumphing over all the $@%#! thrown at me because I kept the faith and focused on the One who I knew was in control of it all.

Okay, so I’m still working on that last part, but I’m a self-identified work in progress. As for the other parallels to David’s experiences:

Minding my own business & excelling at what is expected of me right where I am

I am well liked and respected at the large corporation where I work. I have been identified as a future leader and have been recognized for good work through both bonuses and promotions. I can’t stand office braggarts. I am a “head down” kind of worker that lets my work speak for itself. And it does.

Unintentionally stumbling upon an opportunity for visibility & totally dominating that opportunity simply by being myself

Although I am a quiet worker (truly the only part of my life where I act with any semblance of humility), my boss frequently has me present my ideas and project deliverables to senior leadership. Because I don’t care about rising through the ranks (I want to be a stay at home mom, assuming of course I ever find a man crazy enough to commit to me), I always do well at my presentations. Because I’m not nervous. Because I don’t care about impressing anyone.

Encountering jealousy from insecure people & being attacked by said insecure people

My department at work is currently playing a proverbial game of musical chairs where the music starts, we shuffle teams and positions, some chairs get taken away, and then everyone (who can) sits down. Over the past few weeks, two different senior executives have approached me about jobs they’d like me to apply for during our restructuring. Both jobs would be promotions.

DramaSome peers of mine, as well as one manager who isn’t my biggest fan (some drivel about “not playing nicely in the sandbox with the other children” because I have a brain and an opinion) have stirred up gossip that I have a sense of entitlement and am greedy for a promotion. I have since been “coached” that I should refrain from applying for any roles that would be a promotion in an effort to salvage my reputation.

My character has been maliciously slandered by insecure, jealous coworkers. I wasn’t looking for a promotion. I was the one approached by the hiring managers. I was minding my own business, excelling at the station in life in which I currently find myself. But when people feel threatened, like King Saul did by David, they act in absolutely heinous ways.

Office PoliticsAttracting the depressed and disillusioned

One of the few benefits of this truly painful, frustrating, humiliating, enraging, angst-ridden, debilitating season of life is that our trials become our ministry. Everyone at work knew my wedding date. Everyone at the office – a very professional, buttoned-up environment – watched the train wreck that was my broken engagement. Everyone has watched (from afar, mostly) the slow, gut-wrenching healing process of the past several months. And now this. Most people knew I was considering applying for those jobs; that I had been tapped on the shoulder by senior executives requesting me on their teams. So now when I don’t apply, there will be more gossip; more losing of face.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have no poker face. So everyone at work always knows exactly what is going on with me. Humiliating as this can be, the good part is that I have suddenly had new relational doors opened to me. Since my coworkers have seen me in a vulnerable state, they are far more comfortable pulling me into a conference room to confide in me; share their hurts with me; seek my opinion; ask for prayer or even just a hug.

Since the people are what keep me going to work, I am thrilled to have deeper, more meaningful relationships with the people I spend essentially a third of my life with at the office anyway. As I walk through this time of transition, my prayer is that I can at least be a light of hope to others down there with me in the valley.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too.” 2 Cor. 1:3-5

Authentically Aurora

David’s Mighty Men – Part I

My last post was pretty raw, emotional and generally more touchy-feely than I normally write or am even comfortable with. But I’m leaving it (rather than deleting it) in the hopes that either:

  1. It will help some of my readers as they struggle with their own hurt, or
  2. Readers who get the impression that I am a cynical dragon lady can see that there really is a soft heart underneath the callouses!

If I had been in a more rational frame of mind last week, instead of posting lonely girl pics, I would have written about David’s Mighty Men. Yes, you read that right. While my mushy gushy right brain was being emo and melancholy, my left brain was thinking about David’s Mighty Men.

For those of you not familiar with David’s Mighty Men, get your popcorn ready, because it is a freaking awesome story.

Everybody ready? Julie, do you have your Icee? Okay, great. Here we go.

[Setting: Israel, 1030 BC]

Act I

David YouthOnce upon a time, there lived a boy named David. He was the youngest of eight brothers, and he worked in the fields of Israel as a shepherd while his three eldest brothers went off to fight under King Saul in his war against the Philistines. Occasionally, David’s father sent him to take food to his older brothers on the front lines, and on one such occasion, David unintentionally became the Champion of the Israeli army, single-handedly defeating the Philistines.

The Philistine giant, Goliath, had taunted the Israeli army and suggested a 1:1 battle to determine the victor between the two armies. David was young and untrained in sword fighting, but when he heard Goliath insulting the name of the God of Israel, David boldly stepped forward to fight Goliath, having full faith and confidence that God was behind him. All of the trained soldiers were afraid of Goliath, but David “triumphed over Goliath with only a sling and a stone.” Read more here.

What I love about David in this story is that he was just minding his own business, dropping off food for his big brothers. David wasn’t looking for fame or notoriety, but he was zealous for God’s honor and glory, and so he stepped up to defend God’s name when no one else would. He was humble and unassuming, but brave and fearless because of his faith, and that combination is what made him great.

Act II

King Saul was an insecure, angry, restless man in search of someone to soothe him by playing the harp. One of his servants had heard that David could play the harp, so David was contacted and requested to play for the King.

Harp HandsWhen David played, the tormented King would feel at peace, so King Saul grew to love David, until he realized that David succeeded at everything he did. David was an excellent musician, he was attractive, and he also began to get a reputation for being a strong warrior. The people of Israel began to sing, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands!”

This (understandably) made the very insecure King Saul jealous and angry, and he began to make attempts on David’s life. Read more here.

David didn’t ask to be called to play the harp for King Saul. He was simply serving the King and serving him well. By no fault of David’s, the jealousy of the King resulted in David having spears thrown at him (directly by the King’s hand!) and hunted down by King Saul’s army.

Act III

David's Mighty MenSoon David found himself alone and on the run, but people began flocking to him. Notably, Scripture describes the people who come to David as “everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented… and he became captain over them.” Eventually in 2 Samuel, we see this rag tag group of men transformed into a group renowned as “David’s Mighty Men.”

These distressed, indebted, discontented men rallied around David and, under his leadership, developed into epic heroes like Josheb-basshebeth who “wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time” and Benaiah who “struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen.” Read more here.

Think “Guardians of the Galaxy” only better. A depressed group of misfits banded together and conquered evil as they joined under a united cause. Tell me that doesn’t get you pumped up!

Epilogue

Eventually, King Saul is killed in battle, and the shepherd boy David – youngest of eight brothers – goes on to become King. There is of course more to the story, but at its core, it is the classic story of the underdog triumphing against all odds.

Then again, I suppose odds don’t really come into play when you are God’s anointed.

Authentically Aurora