Oct 11 / Jen Macnab
Is it just me, or did we recently enter the land of giants? They are circling, hovering, and pacing back and forth. Granted, we didn't set out to encounter them; they just appeared.

Kind of like old David and Goliath. The scrappy kid was simply taking a journey to feed his brothers when Goliath appeared on the scene.

Hence, David gathered some stones. Five, to be exact. But not just any rocks. They had to be just the right ones for the battle. That is to say, they had to fit snugly in the sling and glide seamlessly through the air. Most likely, there was a science to the selection.

What stones should we be gathering today? Well, it might help to begin by identifying the giants that stand before us.

First off, there is the pressure giant. Do this, don't do that. Say this, don't say that. Pressure constricts, restricts, cancels, and censors while entire communities are on edge trying to navigate it all.

What kind of stone can prevail over the pressure?

The pebble of Profound Purpose. Our time on this spinning orb was not by chance. And our whole life, whether we recognize it or not, has prepared us for the current moment. We are in perpetual training. Are we equipped for next year? Not yet. How about tomorrow? Well, we'll need a good night's sleep first.

And yet, throughout the whole ordeal, we are discovering more about ourselves and our assignments.

Second, there is a giant who pals around with pressure: anger. Strife and division rear their ugly heads while alliances and allegiances are getting stronger, entrenchments get deeper. So easy to see "out there," but can we just as quickly see "in here?" As in, we can point to anger manifesting in the world, can we just as easily identify anger embodied in ourselves?

However, there is an excellent stone to hurl at this Goliath…

The stone of No Offense. Yeah, sure, it is human nature to feel our blood boil at all offensive possibilities. It is the boiling point that burns out the dross, enabling us to skim out the impurities and operate with a pure heart. That is to say, there are invitations to walk with a heart that carries no offense.

These days, we may find it takes a lot of skimming.

Third, there is a big ole giant of fear/anxiety. This one doesn't take a lot of explanation.

As it turns out, there is a good stone for this giant.

The gem of Joy. Drop a love bomb or a belly laugh to feel a visceral lift. And sometimes, we must condition our eyes to see beyond an anxious presence. We must look to move from a realm of scarcity into a realm of abundance. After all, where we focus makes a big difference.

A friend of mine [1] embraces a practice where she looks for heart-shaped objects everywhere she goes. Her latest encounter, she discovered a scrap of toilet paper torn in the shape of a heart in the street. How powerful that one scrap of TP can communicate love!

Truly, it shows the power of our lens.

With the proper weaponry and the right lens, the Goliath of fear/anxiety becomes more like a gnat. However, we must keep swatting at it because it hovers like fruit flies on an overripe banana these days.

Fourth, we have encountered a giant in the loss of predictability lately. People crave the known, but the known is the unknown these days. Normal is abnormal. Down is up, and up is down, as having sense is no longer common. Is there any stone to slay this?

The stone of Seed in the Ground. As in, just keep sowing good seeds. Seedtime and harvest bring a rhythm. New will rise and bloom as each seed planted gets us one step closer to the garden.

Finally, there is one big giant remaining: discouragement. For example, it is nearly impossible to go through the day without hearing about something hard. Indeed, this is a giant that covets a great deal of attention these days.

Is there any stone to hurl toward this massive monster?

The rock of Victory. This rock is the ultimate conviction that good triumphs and Light radiates. The end is the beginning and not something to fear. We all have a finish line in this race, so we'll cross it with our arms lifted.

But until then, we will just keep gathering stones…

Take a moment to notice the giants and stones you have gathered along the way. How are they different? How are they similar to the ones shared above? Where do you notice love and where do you not notice love?

1 Kudos Darcy Hansen for inspiring this heart-shaped vision!

Jen Macnab

Jen Macnab enjoys living in Tigard with her husband and two daughters. Together they keep busy with a garden, outdoor clothesline, and backyard chickens. Jen also serves with the Seminary Doctoral Programs at Portland Seminary.