February 17, 2010 Mighty Warrior?!?
For literature our oldest daughter is reading Don Quixote. I have never read it, but apparently it is a 1,000 page book. For her it has been condensed to a mere 80 pages. It is a story of a man who reads all the time. He has allowed his reading to overcome him, and decides to take his horse in an adventure of his own to become a knight. He gains his knighthood from an inn owner who he believes to be a king (and the inn is the castle.) Feeling sorry for Don Quixote, the inn keepers makes him a knight so that he will be on his way. And so the adventure begins.
Part of the lesson was to talk about how our imaginations can get in the way of realities. Don Quixote has read so many great adventures that it has skewed the way he sees himself. He no longer sees reality for what it is, but instead is blinded by his misconception of truth from fiction.
To give my daughter an illustration I shared a story about our third child, Sweet T. One afternoon she was standing outside singing very a loud melodious song (she made up). When she came inside she was disappointed. She said, “I was singing outside and I thought everyone passing by would come running to our house to hear me. But they not.” (She’s 5. Her improper grammar is so cute.)
This made me think about Gideon. Gideon is most known for taking a troop of 300 men and defeated an army that greatly outnumbered them. What came to my mind was not this great victory, but what God said to him when he called him to be the leader. In Judges 6:12 the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and called him “mighty warrior.” After hearing the entire story I would agree, but not at this point. In the beginning of chapter 6 Gideon is hiding and sneaking around just to grind some grain. There is nothing mighty or warrior like in being a coward.
I began to think of all the great men and women of faith that have gone ahead of us. Most of them were sure God had picked the wrong person to do the job. Moses, Samuel, Esther, Ruth, and so on. Maybe they agreed to go along, but questioned the plan and the way God wanted to do it.
Being certain that God had chosen the wrong person, each one choose instead to believe the calling despite the facts. They decided to believe in something that did not seem to be there, because they knew the one in charge could give them what the needed. “The God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17)
I am not trying to promote “blind faith”, but sometimes I live the opposite of Don Quixote. I allow what I hear, read, and watch to keep me from trusting God to be God. I allow things other than truth to skew what I believe.
One of my favorite passages in the gospel of John is the man born blind. When the religious leaders are demanding to know how he was healed, the man sticks with the facts. He says, “how he did it, I don’t know. Who he is, I don’t know. All I know is I once was blind, but now I see.”