By Owuor Kuyoh:
One of life's most head banging moments for me is having an encounter with a 3yr old cousin of mine who takes me for his punching bag/bat mobile/dare devil sidekick/agony aunt/sponge bob/partner in crime. Those roles fall in no particular order but I'm beginning to notice a pattern of one. Anyway, the little junior always gives me insights on life that can hardly be fathomed by an adult mind. The other day he said to me that “Your face hurts my feelings.” It took me a while before I could register the depth of my feelings that needed CPR at that moment. Vitals are still critical. No comeback yet. Still searching….
So, back to my original story, the fine gent has recently procured an affinity to super heroes. I noticed this the other day when he sprinted naked across the sitting room with his towel as his cape and the house help his faithful sidekick…well not really; she just frantically tried to save face in front of her employers as the naked…uuh..caped crusader whizzed under the dining table. Can you blame him? No. actually it's my fault. Whenever I'm with him we always watch superhero blockbusters; Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Superman, Green Lantern, Batman and Makmende. You name it, we watch it, we re-enact awesome scenes then rewind the whole thing and do it all over again till our eyes bleed out from their sockets. Yes sometimes, I act like a child, because I am one. It's legal, read the constitution.
What makes heroes so alluring, so captivating, so fascinating, so glamorous, and so swaggnificent (can't believe I used that, but you get my point) that everyone wants to be one? We have songs about heroes, books written in their honor, awesome statues like Megamind's, Halloween costumes, action figures, movies, and even underwear! What is it with heroes?
For me, there are quite a number of aspects in heroes that stand out but I'll highlight just one that stands out like its colors have been washed with Toss. Heroes are ordinary people living extra ordinary lives. Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Peter Parker and Makmende – ordinary people, extra ordinary lives. “But wait,” you say “These are fictional characters; unreal, made up, imagined, we want the real thing. Haki yetu!” The tribe has spoken.
Imagine with me a young man who was a shepherd by day, lion killer by night. And no he doesn't reside in Kitengela. David, son of Jesse, a shepherd, the lastborn in his household, not much was expected of him. At least that's what they all said. In 1Sam 16, when the time for anointing had come, his father thought so little of him he left him tending sheep. He wasn't even proposed as a candidate. That was man's perspective; God was playing at a completely different ball game. David's time of public revealing had come much faster than he had time to prepare for. He was more concerned with his role – a shepherd; protector and provider of sheep. He was diligent and passionate about his work, at the beck and call of his father and king Saul. He was an ordinary guy. Most of his pals may have lived just the same way. Yet David understood something radical, something that made him stand out. When Goliath challenged the armies of God, he went ballistic! Calling Goliath “this uncircumcised Philistine”, he went ahead and challenged Goliath. He said “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied”, Then took him down with sling and stone. It is safe to say that Goliath was stoned.
David was a hero. They sang songs about him. But that's not what made him a hero. Goliath did. Goliath made David a hero. There, I said it. You know why? If Goliath wasn't there, David would probably not have stood up to defend God's honor. That's what heroes do. That's what makes heroes. Goliaths. What is your Goliath? Standing against you, taunting you, making you cower in shame and fear when he roars and comes at you. You look at him, asking for someone else; a hero to come and take care of it because you're not ready, you can't, it's too big, it's impossible, “all I have is this sling and stone”.
Wait, back up there – that's all you have? That's it? I agree; it's impossible, just go back to tending sheep, and counting them till you fall asleep. Much better? Yes?
NO! Back up again. Again.
What else did David have? He had God. See when he was anointed, the spirit of God came upon him in power. That's it! He had an infilling of the Spirit. Because of that he took care of Goliath, he waged war against the people defying the armies of God. An ordinary guy, an extra ordinary life.
God is looking for heroes. In almost every book of the bible the unending theme behind it is this; “HEROES WANTED”. There are Goliaths defying the armies of God, Goliaths like poverty, like homelessness, corruption. And you look at these things everyday and feel hopeless, apathetic, you turn the other way saying “It's not my job, naomba serekali iingilie kati.” This generation is waiting for David, waiting for you, to come and slay Goliath. What is in your hand? What is your sling and stone? Are you confident that “…Greater is He who is in us that he who is in the world”? Are you really?
I believe that God wants to raise up a generation whose assignment will be to change the world with His authority. A generation that isn't satisfied with just sitting cozy in their church seats, singing praise hymns, asking God to bless them and show them favor. A generation that understands the power that lies in them isn't for them. His word says in 2Chron 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose hearts are fully committed toward him. God is looking for you, God is searching for you. For Davids to take on Goliaths. For those who have understood that their salvation is supposed to change the world.
Heroes know what they are worth. They know that when Goliath comes it's up to them to take him down. No retreat, no surrender. They look at what they have, what is in their hands, their powers, their abilities, their opportunities, their strengths, their experiences, their failures and successes.
Goliath is roaring, the world is crying, God's people are shuddered in fear. The Bat sign is in the sky.
Put on your cape…
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