I guess you could call it an addiction but I think that would be a little harsh. Whatever the label I will admit that long road trips prompt me to pick up a book or two on CD. It seems to help pass the time. Give it a try next time you're heading to west Texas or the panhandle and tell me I'm wrong.
I had a one day trip last week - Houston and back. Per my criteria this trip qualifies as 'book-worthy.' Normally Cracker Barrel is my source but this time I opted for the library as I was making a stop there anyway.
The book was good and it served it's purpose. But when I went to return it I thought I'd see what else was available as these Houston runs are going to be pretty regular. There on the shelf I saw Max Lucado's "Facing Your Giants" and picked it up. I started it this morning on the way to the office which is a break from the usual routine and could indeed indicate the beginning of an addiction.
The story of David and Goliath, duh. I guess I could have made that connection. I'm only three chapters in - much of which is a recap of that famous battle. Early on it actually begins with David kneeling at the stream and picking up five stones.
Of course I knew it was five. But why five? I think I was always so excited about the eventual downfall of the giant that I never gave any thought to the number of stones the recently annointed king picked up. He went out and faced Goliath "in the name of the LORD almighty" and one did the trick just fine.
So why five? I've read it's because he wanted to make sure he hit him which I will quickly dismiss. God killed Goliath, not David, so let's assume that after creating the universe in 6 days it would only take him one try to hit a nine foot tall man with a head the size of a watermelon.
Goliath had four brothers? Maybe. There may be retaliation from other Philistines? Perhaps. David was an avid rock collector? Doubtful.
I don't know. And I think this is one of many instances that is left to our speculation. Realistically in the terms of David vs. Goliath it doesn't matter, it's not the main point.
But should I take something from this seemingly small detail? Lucado has not given me his opinion of this, at least not yet. He seems more focused on us facing our giants, our Goliaths, just as David did. Charge at them confidently with your faith in God, not the sling or the stone.
Maybe the point is preparation. I'm David. Yes, literally I am David. But in a spiritual sense I'm David - a young shepherd facing a giant. Or more correctly in my case - giants. A whole army of God-mocking giants being sent my way to discourage me, derail me, destroy me.
Why five? I need five. Honestly I probably need five a day. Certainly there's been days I've needed five before lunch. Because for every giant that falls there's more coming. And they'll continue to come until Jesus returns and makes things right.
In confidence I will continually kneel at the stream to gather more stones. As I kneel I know that God stands there behind me staring down the giants. With that knowledge I will confidently face them and allow God to strike them down.
He is after all, a much better shot than me.