Michael is gifted with a truly creative mind. Whenever he has a brilliant idea, and he has them regularly, someone appropriates it and presents it as their own. Michael never gets the credit.
If you were to meet him, you might begin to see the genesis of the problem. Michael is short, slightly built, and about 5’3”. He is somewhat shy, though not timid. And he is always polite. People have a tendency to mistake this for weakness.
Sometimes in a brainstorming session, Michael will present an excellent idea in his normal unassuming fashion. Shortly, someone else will say, “I have a brilliant idea! This is so exciting!” then proceed to reword Michael’s concept as their own – getting all the credit.
I have a feeling about Michael, though; a feeling that he is destined for greatness, somehow. He reminds me of someone else – a daring little lad who often got ignored. He had seven brothers, and he, the eighth, was just an afterthought. When his father was asked to introduce all his sons, he introduced the first seven. It wasn’t until he was asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” that he remembered David, as an afterthought. “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.”
Things hadn’t changed much for David on the morning he was to take on Goliath. Although David served King Saul, he still had to go back and forth to take care of his father’s sheep. In fact, the only reason he was there that morning was that his father had sent him to take food to his three brothers who were in the army.
So what does David find? An army quaking in its boots and peeing its pants over a haughty challenger from the other side. Does his big brother thank him for bringing the food? No, actually his response is, “what are you doing here and who’s taking care of the sheep?” Poor David! Even the king’s response tells it all when David offers to fight Goliath.
“You’re only a boy.”
It’s a wonder David didn’t turn around and head back to the peace and quiet of the pastures where, at least, the sheep appreciated him. Do you feel like that sometimes? Like retreating and letting the world sort itself out without you?
In a world of giant businessmen, who are you to bother people with your little idea? In a church with charismatic leaders, who are you to volunteer to lead? In a neighbourhood where everyone but you drives a flashy car, who are you to form a welfare association?
Yes. And who was David? Who indeed but an ‘afterthought’ who was destined for greatness.
The world has it all upside down. It loves show and braggadocio – a flashy car here, an extravagant suit there – the outer trappings.
But it was a little shepherd boy that annihilated the giant, Goliath, and eventually became king.
My advice to Michael is simple. Keep being diligent, and keep being true to yourself. Earnest, brave, hardworking little people who refuse to quit have a way of rising to the top. I think they’re getting the attention of the One whose opinion counts most.