Thursday, March 05, 2009

Facing My Giants

Sometimes books are just forced upon us. That's how it worked out between Max Lucado's "Facing Your Giants" and me.

It had been sitting on my boss' desk for several months until I noticed it. I asked her if that was Max's latest, because I had most of his books on audio, and had read the more popular ones, but I could not recall that title. She said yes, and asked if I wanted to read it.

I said no because I had a pile of unread books at home. She insisted. "I'm not going to have time to read it in the next few weeks," she said.

Obedience to authority was a compulsion, so I accepted the book that I had no intention of reading. Suffice to say that I was going through a fiction-reading phase, and inspirational or even spiritual books were not on my immediate book list. Any such books on my list had been overstaying for more than a year already. That's just where I was.

So I brought home the book with the nice cover and put it on my desk. It was soon buried underneath my usual rubble. One weekend, when I was cleaning out my desk and trying desperately to look for something I cannot recall now, I unearthed the book.

"Face Your Giants", it said. Read me, the book said.

Did I mention that I'm an obedient girl? I opened page one, and realized some books come to us for a reason. Max Lucado's writing is nothing spectacular, it's just like hearing a preacher address his congregation. His gift, however, is in highlighting the obvious and in stressing the truth behind it.

I'm a firm believer in reading books, but I've learned to pick my battles. When I was younger, I forced myself to finish every book I opened, whether it was "War and Peace" when I was 10, or the complete Nancy Drew series. I later learned to conserve my time and energy, and let go of books, either because they were meant for a different audience, or because the writing style did not suit me.

"Facing Your Giants" seemed, well, heaven-sent. It came when I was silently wishing my Goliaths would go away. It came when I was hoping others would solve my giants for me.

I'm still reading the book, word for word, chapter by chapter. I savor books such as these, and let the message sink in. Max Lucado writes about David in a fresh new light - his "hidden years", which I have managed to ignore for most of my renewed Christian life. I had so far succeeded on focusing on the highlights of King David's life, and had missed out on the lessons to be learned from the more unpopular chapters of his journey. David's psalms documented his relationship with God, which might have waned during times of sin, but which found new life every time he asked forgiveness and returned to prayer.

This book forced me to face my own battles, and reminded me of the one thing I needed: to fix my eyes on God. We all have Goliaths, giants that have to be dealt with, and problems that won't go away. A long time ago, I wished that God would send me a David to deal with my Goliaths. This time I'm learning how to BE like David: focused, prepared, and faithful. I know He already sent His Son, Jesus, on whom I could depend. I have to work on my relationship with Him, for greater trust in His plan, and faith in His unwavering love for me.

Perhaps I'll write another post about it when I'm done. I'm growing in faith already and I'm not yet halfway through the book.

Realized I just wrote several paragraphs about some giants but avoided writing about them. Well, I AM facing them.

They may not know that they are my giants.

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