In the Bible, it is written that David was given a simple assignment: to deliver lunch and supplies to his older brothers' camp, out by the battle. But as we know, God had something greater planned.
In their book, Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Masculinity–The Heart and Strength of Being a Man, Dr. Tim Clinton and Max Davis show parallels between David's experience and that of NFL running back Bob Brunet. The comparison demonstrates that opportunity awaits when we least expect it, cloaked in a veil of mundane activity, masquerading as an enemy or obstacle, but which ends up providing the means to fulfilling God's will in our lives if we rise to the challenge.
"As David was handing out sandwiches and chips, Goliath stepped onto the scene and issued his challenge," says Clinton. "And David stepped up. Little did David know, taking on Goliath would launch him into his destiny. Without the challenge of an enemy in the presence of his peers, David would have never been promoted to the next level. Hear me on this: God often uses an enemy to catapult you into your calling. But you've got to step up. Your giant can be your opportunity."
Just as David was a teenager when faced with his giant, so too was Brunet when his giant arose. In his case, it was a series of unfortunate events in his young life that prevented him from playing football until the playoffs during his senior year of high school in the tiny, south Louisiana town of Larose.
Starting in junior high, Brunet recounts events that seemed to work against his chances of ever playing football. Though he was a fast runner, he didn't make the sixth grade Pee Wee League team because he had been ill the week before and couldn't run fast enough during tryouts. In his sophomore year of high school, he missed spring training due to his after-school job; in his junior year he made the team but didn't make the traveling squad. Then, before his senior year, he was diagnosed with a slipped disc, but the coach let him stay on the team as equipment manager. And that is how Bob, like David, ended up bringing food and drinks to his "brothers" on the team.
The team made it to the playoffs, but in a strange turn of events, their top two running backs were injured in the last regular season game and couldn't play. By that time, Brunet had recovered from his injury, and, as a last-ditch effort, the coach put him in the first playoff game.
"Despite not having any previous playing time, Brunet played really well, and he was in the starting lineup all the way through the playoffs to the state championship game," says Dr. Clinton. "Brunet had been faithful, and that put him in the right place at the right time to step into the opportunity offered to him."
Dr. Clinton marvels at the fairytale ending that happened next: "During the championship game, a coach for Louisiana Tech was in the stands. He had come to watch some other players, but he liked what he saw in Brunet. After the game, the Tech coach approached Coach LeBlanc and asked him about number 23. LeBlanc couldn't even recall that a number 23 was on the team. Then he responded, 'Oh, that's my manager. We lost our starter to injury, so Robert was filling in for us.' That night, the Louisiana Tech coach offered Bob Brunet a scholarship, and he accepted (even though he had never heard of Louisiana Tech)."
Brunet's opportunity showed up when two running backs went down, and the opposing team was the threatening "giant." "He had to make a choice to lay down the water bucket and respond to the coach's call. I'm sure it was intimidating. After all, he had not been practicing or playing with the team," says Clinton. "But he was ready because he knew what was inside him. Don't despise mundane assignments. Facing giants is often preceded by routine tasks."
Just as David stepped up and later became king, Bob stepped up and was later drafted by the Washington Redskins, resulting in a football career that spanned 10 seasons, with a Super Bowl appearance in 1973, and being rated the NFL's No.1 special teams' player during that time.
"If [either] had not been prepared mentally, physically and spiritually to face a giant, [each] would have missed his opportunity. Be ready. Live ready," Clinton says. "You never know when your giant is going to show up and issue a challenge."
And Clinton leaves men with these thoughts: "The people in your circle of influence may need someone to step up for them, a champion fighter to stand in the face of the enemy and declare, 'The Lord God is with me, and He will prevail!'
"We need men to say they've had enough, men whom the world can look up to as examples of faith and encouragement, men who know what's inside them and are ready to do the right thing at the right time."
In Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Masculinity – The Heart and Strength of Being a Man, Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), challenges readers to reject the culture's redefinition and seek biblical examples of true manhood. Fast-paced, filled with relevant, biblical stories of godly men like David and Nehemiah and contemporary stories of godly men like George Foreman and Tim Tebow, Take It Back empowers men to be who God created them to be and to impact the culture that is in desperate need of their influence. Study and discussion questions at the end of each chapter make Take It Back a perfect resource for men's Bible studies and small groups.
Dr. Tim Clinton, EdD, LPC, LMFT, is president of AACC, the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. Dr. Clinton also serves as co-host of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk, heard on nearly 1400 radio outlets daily. Licensed as a professional counselor and as a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Clinton is recognized as a world leader in mental health and relationship issues and spends much of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He has authored or edited nearly 30 books. Dr. Clinton and his wife, Julie, have two children and a granddaughter.
Max Davis is the author of over 30 books that have been featured in USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Bible Gateway, and on the Today show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he's done a variety of collaboration projects with highly notable leaders.
Take It Back was released on April 6 by Charisma House, which publishes books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians.
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