I stumbled onto this TV show called Socrates in the City. It’s a show where people just talk about stuff. It seems to be Christian oriented but I haven’t explored further so I can’t be sure about that. This particular show was an interview with Malcolm Gladwell, an author of interesting nonfiction books. His Outliers, published in 2008, continues to hang around on the paperback nonfiction best seller list.
His latest book is David and Goliath. It’s about underdogs winning in the face of insurmountable odds. I got a sample and read the first chapter about, well, David and Goliath. Here’s what I got: Goliath had a medical condition that made David’s victory a foregone conclusion. Goliath was slow and had vision problems. He would win a fight with armor and swords but he was vulnerable to a small, quick opponent with a sling and stones. I thought ‘well, this is just another explain away a miracle thing’ and dismissed the book.
The interview changed my mind. I haven’t read the book but I will. Mr. Gladwell told how he was raised in an atmosphere of faith but as he matured he drifted away. He said the process of writing this book led him to restoration. He said the miracle was not that the stone killed Goliath. The miracle was that God had spent years preparing David for this moment. The miracle was that David showed up at that time and place and that David had the courage to step into that valley. The rest was a foregone conclusion.
I think what we miss about miracles is how they are always preceded by an act of obedience. It may be simply having the courage to walk to the altar to be prayed for or maybe just making time to pray.
Every other morning I pray free style. I tell God who He is. I ask Him to make me more like Him. Just simple communion. I love those times.
The other mornings I pray my list. I confess that many times I see this as just a duty to perform. I don’t know how much my faith is engaged.
Maybe I should look at praying my list differently. Maybe I should see it as me venturing into the valley, as me picking up five smooth stones.
The rest is a foregone conclusion.
Walls do crumble. Giants are slain. Armies are put to flight. It all begins with prayer and communion with God. Miracles are born in prayer.