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Standing Against The Giants

Updated: Jan 16

(About a 6 min read… it’ll go by fast…)


Most of my life has been trial and error… or better known as “The School of Hard Knocks”…

Growing up, I loved the story of David and Goliath… I was infatuated with the thought of standing against adversity at all costs… standing strong under extreme pressure and impossible situations…


When I was about 15 I lived in the projects in New Hampshire… there was a mall across the street called Newington Mall… I would often go there to escape… and people watch… I would sit by my favorite fountain in the middle of the mall and disappear into my thoughts… (we didn’t have smart phones in those days)…

One evening as I was pondering… a young woman, around my age, came up to me and asked me if I would do her a favor… my face went red… I mean… a GIRL was talking to me… I said “sure?”… I had no idea what was about to happen…


She had the smell of cigarettes and the skin that accommodated the habit… however, against my best judgement, I was flattered and eager to help…


“It’s pretty simple… umm… I just need you to walk through the store and put your arm around me”… she said as she put on her best alluring expression… I swallowed hard… I thought… “uhhh that’s kind of a weird request”… but any wisdom had been disregarded at this point and I responded “ok”…


We started walking through the store… my arm around her… my hand on her waist… the smell of cigarette smoke started to make me gag… but I smiled… wide eyed and awkward…

She was agitated… she kept looking around every corner… she would stop and turn around… fidgeting and uncomfortable… we approached the sporting goods section… and I suddenly discovered the plot… the evil intent…

I was a late bloomer… I didn’t blossom to my current 6’2” status until my late teens… and there before me was a very tall… very athletic… and VERY angry young man… his eyes locked with mine and seemed to turn to fire instantly… he grabbed a baseball bat from the shelf and started walking toward us… I immediately felt the urge to leave my hormones and the girl and run with all my might…


I was a spry and fast runner… I set a high school record for the sprint… I darted through the sporting goods aisle… around the hygiene department and bolted out the front door… the parking lot was fairly empty so there was little strategy other than straight… there was nowhere to hide…


My heart was pumping so hard I could feel it in my throat… I briefly looked behind me to notice the angry bull gaining on me… bat in hand… across the road was where I lived… I had enough sense to not lead him there…

Behind my house was a swamp… it was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos, frogs, snakes and… leaches…


I made the executive decision to lure him to the swamp… upon leaving the mall… I had the sprinters advantage… but I was not a marathon runner and started tiring out quickly…


I approached the trees that lead to the swamp… I knew it well.. I had spent many hours there reading, drawing and playing my guitar…


It was dark, but I could make out the path along the swamps edge… I hid behind a tree… I couldn’t catch my breath… I tried to be quiet… but it wasn’t working… I suddenly felt a firm and aggressive grip around my left shoulder… as he flung me out from behind the tree…


He poked me hard with the bat and said “what were you doing with my girl!”… I stuttered and responded with “she asked me to put my arm around her… I’m… i’m sorry… I didn’t know she was with you”…


My words didn’t matter… he took the bat and swung it hard against my right side… I felt the immediate shock in my ribs… and my breathe left me… “I said I’m sorry!” I exclaimed… he didn’t respond and followed with a pro baseball swing to my right arm… square in the elbow… I could feel every nerve scream at once… the way I would imagine a home run would feel to a baseball… and that… made me angry…

From the depth of a tear-choked throat… I yelled “God! You will give me this Philistine!”… i wiped my eyes… stood up and lunged at him with everything I had left in me… sending him toppling into the swamp… head first…


I waited a few seconds and then realized that he wasn’t moving… the air was still for a moment… I thought “oh, no… did I kill him?” I quickly went to him and pulled him out of the swamp water… he smelled like pot, alcohol and cigarettes… my home in the projects was a duplex and the tenants on the other half were constantly arrested for selling drugs… so… I knew the fragrance well…


He laid there… seemingly awake… staring at me through the eyes of an empty soul… I looked into his eyes… his pupils were fully dilated… I couldn’t tell if he had a concussion or if he was high…


Slowly… like raising from the dead… he sat up… rolled to his side… stumbled to his feet… and walked away… dragging the bat loosely on the ground… and groaning softly… I sat alone in the dark for about an hour… wondering what just happened… thinking about my stupidity… about how I could have died… i prayed… I said “thank you for giving me the philistine”… I went home… I entered though the back door… went up to my room… took a shower… and went to bed…


Life’s pressures… usually self-inflicted… have their way of showing us who we are… our core beliefs… pressure reveals, it doesn’t create… what goes in must come out…


So… let me ask you… what are you putting into your heart?… What are you sowing into your life?… In what ways are you distracting your successes and miracles by limiting your heart with things that don’t matter… For me… as I sat in the mud… with aching ribs and a swollen arm… I was thankful that the truth I put in my heart gave me strength in the moment of need… I hope this blesses you…


Thanks for listening…


Michael




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