Monday morning she wakes early to a world who hates her for what she is.
She wakes to a post-James Foley world, a man who lost his life but not his voice.
She wakes to ladders and platforms and this demand to prove your worth.
She wakes to the chilling threat of what happens if you fail to live up, fail to be enough, fail to be something other than what’s demanded of you.
We can be despised for who we are.
Somebody said they’d rather be hated than ignored but I reckon that naive person has never truly been hated before. The hated become the hunted. Just watch the news.
It’s why we lose our voice…it’s why we sacrifice our message…it’s why we make little compromises…to avoid becoming the next one tracked and hunted.
We give up our voices for comfort and safety and we become an entire army of cowed warriors because we’ve listened to the voice of a single giant.
She wakes up Monday morning an underdog.
An underdog who has been out on the backside of nowhere with her *few* sheep.
Not in the pulpits or seminaries in America. Not in the networking circles. Not in the publishing industry and the fancy organizations and the Who’s Who.
Just at home taking care of those few sheep she has.
“Never underestimate the underdog,” Gladwell says, “because she’s learned to think outside the box.”
The underdog’s learned her world is a box, the entire world is a box, and only when you get outside of it can you really live in it.
Only when you reach up out of the box, up into heaven, asking God for divine enablement, beseeching the faithful, covenant keeping God to intervene… well, that’s when the box becomes an altar and the fire falls.
We’re an army of Christians cowed by materialism. By comfort. By our fancy shmancy appearances, by lusts of the world and the pride of life. By our rights and entitlements. By fear of making someone not like us.
We’ve given up our voice in exchange.
We’ve stopped reaching outside the box and settled for making compromises within it.
We’ve all become echos.
Yet there still remains the underdog.
On the backside of nowhere, taking care of the small with which she’s been entrusted, there’s the underdog who still believes God.
One day an underdog wakes up to her duties only to discover there on the backside of nowhere, she’s actually learned how to face her fears…and defeat them.
She discovers she’s learned how to really trust God in a world where talent replaces trust.
She finds she’s…unexpectedly… developed perseverance and compassion and learned how to be sustained in hard times through worship of One great God.
Who would’ve thought this is what was really going on?
All those nights up with the baby, that littlest sheep. All the mornings of bickering and chaos, corralling those self centered sheep. All the days of training and teaching and modeling. It was really preparation for a big, unexpected win by the underdog.
You are the underdog.
Make no mistake about it. Yours is the voice we need to hear. Yours is the win we need to rouse us. Yours is the lead we need to follow.
You are the underdog who’s been in training for the victory.
From one underdog to another, there is a word of warning. There’s one big temptation for the underdog ~ to be something other than who God has made you to be.
It’s a temptation that has sunk it’s teeth into many and brought them down.
The world and the culture will always tell us how things should be done. Those more powerful, more influential, more experienced, more in the know, even those trusted, they will always be there to tell us how to win.
So David, the shepherd, tried on the armor of a King.
It’s always the temptation the underdog faces when trying to do something significant: be something other than who you are.
But you see, being who we are is what makes us adequate for the win.
Being reliant on God alone is what makes us strong enough to face the giant. Being who God has trained us to be is what makes us uncommon, agile, and sure-footed.
We can’t move when we’re stifled by the world.
We can’t fulfill the purposes God has given us to do when we’re dressed up in someone else’s gear, doing it the way someone else has done.
Underdog, just be who you are. Shed the trappings and get alone with God at the quiet brook. Rediscover the sling and the stones God taught you on and go do what God has prepared you to do.
No need to conform because then, you lose your voice. You restrict yourself. Then you can’t do what we all need you to do.
Go be the underdog with a voice that calls down fire. Go be the shepherd with the sling. Go fulfill the purposes God has for you to fulfill.