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Run Toward Giants

I almost titled this blog, “Why is your logo a statue?” That is a fair question that I have received on a handful of occasions since announcing the start of this business. I do not mind it at all! Just a heads up, don’t ask me this question if you don’t want to hear me get fired up as I explain my answer because I absolutely love explaining my reasoning. But in case we don’t talk for a while, here is the rundown on my intentionality of this symbol of my business.

The logo is not just of any ordinary statue. This statue is Michelangelo’s David; one of the most famous pieces of artwork ever created.

I could write a ton of facts about Michelangelo and go into detail behind all of his other famous masterpieces, but I don’t have that kind of time, nor would I do it justice. I wish I could sit here and tell you that art is my passion and that I frequent art museums weekly, but that would be a lie. Side note: When I do go to museums, I don’t even know what I am looking at most of the time, but I don’t mind. I have a great appreciation for passion and hard work; even if the result is something I don't understand. I know every piece in a museum is a culmination of a passionate person’s life work displayed in front of me. It's like clapping for someone who is singing in a different language, "I'm not sure what you said, but it sounded great."

Anyway, the inspiration came from a line of the book called, Shoe Dog the story of how Phil Knight founded Nike. In the beginning chapters of the book, Knight describes his world travels after he graduated from the University of Oregon. He tells of how he saw The Pyramids of Giza, climbed the Himalayas, visited the wildlife of Kenya, and various other things he saw as he traveled from country to country. The single line that stood out to me from this entire book was this, “I stood before the David, shocked at the anger in his eyes. Goliath never stood a chance.” I love that. I wish I had a large room where I could just say those words aloud and listen to them bounce off the walls for a moment.

“Goliath never stood a chance.”

Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath, but I think there are some key details that people fly by when telling the story. People usually say the cliff notes of the story, a flyby retelling usually: “A shepherd boy, David, defeats the Philistine giant, Goliath with nothing but a sling and a stone.” Pretty straight forward there. In the Bible, the story takes place in 1 Samuel, and I encourage you to read the whole story for yourself.

There is so much more to the story then the 17 word synopsis I just gave. The army of Israel and the Philistine army met for a battle where they faced each other on two hills. The story picks up when we meet Goliath, a giant man trained since his childhood to become a warrior. Fighting has not started yet at this point between the two armies. Goliath proposes a deal to the Israelites, “Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Pretty simple and not a bad deal if you are 10 feet tall. Goliath was so confident that he yelled at the Israelites to send him someone to slaughter for forty days straight. Verse 16, "For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand." Goliath was just taunting them, egging the opposing army to send anyone to fight. This is where our hero, David, comes into the story.

David wasn’t even there for the previous 40 days to hear Goliath shout insults at Israel and God Himself. David leaves his flock of sheep and shows up to bring some food for his brothers who were in the army. David hears what the monster was saying about God and becomes infuriated. Up until this point no one from Israel even thought about fighting Goliath. As far as we know, no one had even yelled anything back yet. David goes to his brother and tells him that he wants to kill Goliath. David’s brother, Eliab, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle,” a reasonable response for a big brother to have in this situation. King Saul, the leader of Israel, hears about David wanting his shot at Goliath and he is totally against it at first. David explains to the King his qualifications like he was interviewing for an entry-level job, “When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” When King Saul hears this, he agrees to let the shepherd boy fight, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” Saul offers his personal armor to David, but it doesn’t fit, nor does David want to wear it. All David wants is his sling.

Now everyone was already looking at David like he’s insane because he wants to fight Goliath in the first place, but I am sure they really lost it when David makes it clear that he is going to fight the Philistine freak without armor or a sword. David goes and picks 5 smooth stones from a nearby stream for ammunition before going to meet Goliath. When the giant sees that the Israelites sent a young boy to battle him, he also thinks it is ridiculous, "'Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?' And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. ‘Come here,’ he said, ‘and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!'" I picture David, a high school aged kid, giving an icy, supremely confident, angry stare as he proclaims, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.” This next part is it; verse 48, “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” David ran. He ran! The kid took off. He bolted. Shepherd boy David didn’t sneak up on Goliath, or try to run a trick play to confuse Goliath, he ran full speed towards the giant with the victorious intent. Verse 49, “Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.”

“Goliath never stood a chance.”

This story gets me fired up. As I sit in Panera, I get up to walk around to burn off some of this excited energy, looking for my own giant to slay.

Some questions to consider:

  1. Where did David's confidence come from?

  2. What was going through David’s mind as he ran?

  3. Why is the logo the statue of David?

Again, all of these are valid questions to be asking.

  1. I believe David’s confidence was a combination of two things: He was extremely comfortable with his weapon. He had been slinging rocks at wild animals to protect his sheep for his entire life. I have never been a shepherd, but I can imagine there is a lot of downtime. I bet David was out there slinging a boatload of rocks at random things in the pastures. David knew he could square up Goliath because he had hit thousands of targets previously. The second confidence factor was that David knew who God was rooting for “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.” Another verse that comes to mind is Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Think about it, David would have been fine with taking on 20 Goliaths since he knew the Creator of Heaven and Earth was on his side.

  2. I have no idea what was going through David’s mind as he went full-bore after Goliath. Perhaps he questioned himself. Maybe self-doubt crept in for a few steps, “oh wow, that guy is getting bigger,” “did I screw up?” “Am I going to die today?” “Why am I doing this??” Maybe he even had flashbacks to the wild beasts he missed with his sling and all the lambs lost. I’d bet if those thoughts happened, he shook them off and kept running, “God’s got me.” “I can do this.” “I can do this.” “I will do this.” “Goliath cursed my family and God.” “This giant is mine.” I’d also bet that he sped up as he got closer. Like a prize fighter getting closer to the ring, his confidence rose.

  3. I say all of this to say this, I want to build my business around David’s mentality. Everyone has giants calling out their name; self-doubt, an injury, a negative inner-voice. I want to help my athletes to not stray away from adversity, from fear, from self-doubt, from whatever is standing in the way between them and their goals, but to face them head on. No matter the odds, the circumstances, the people who doubt, I want to help my athletes live a life where they aren’t afraid to run toward giants.

You are stronger than you think.
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