The boy steps up. Confident. Unafraid. Everyone else might be cowering in their boots, their knees knocking out a tight rhythm as they shiver, but not him. He may be small and young, but he stands there upright, ready, unbowed. The giant leers down at him, huge even though there is a canyon between them. The sensible thing would be to up and run. Follow the crowd. But no. He won’t do that. Instead he grips his sling, scoops up a few small stones, readies himself. The giant laughs a sneering response, the boy can almost smell his breath the stench is so powerful. The big man wants to reduce the boy to tears. Well forget it. It isn’t going to happen. The giant raises his spear, aims it carefully, he’s a crack shot, the boy knows that. But so is the young lad. He’s a shepherd, been raised on keeping predators at bay. So he slips a stone in the sling, the movement so quick the giant won’t notice. He pulls his hand back as the giant readies with his spear. For a moment everything freezes, history stands still, anticipation fills the air like a mist. And then – pow! The whole thing is over in just a few seconds. The two opposing armies stand there gaping behind their respective champions. There is a thud and a cloud of dust kicks up. The body lies there, motionless, breathless. Done and dusted. The boy had everything on his side, confidence, experience, courage… but he thought he could do it alone. Forgot to lift his eyes. Whisper his prayer. Look higher for help. And now he lays there dead in the dust. And across the valley Goliath and his mates celebrate. Oh dear. Perhaps someone else might turn up, this one not merely trusting their own ability, but trusting in their God too.
1 Samuel 17