Friday, February 5, 2016

What is your own giant that you need to slay? - Daily Reflections February 5, 2016

We all have egos. Without getting into a lot of psychobabble, let us just agree that our egos are either inflated or deflated. Both extremes are not good for you and me. In between the two extremes is the mean of virtue, or the mark of a healthy personality.
       For simplicity’s sake, let us look at Goliath as one with a bloated ego. Small wonder the Bible portrays him as a giant. Pit him against the scrawny David, who carries no sword nor heavy shield, and you have an image that Sirach wonderfully portrays — that of a weak, lowly and humble young man, who put Goliath’s giant ego in place, in one fell swoop, with nothing more than a slingshot and a well-chosen pebble as his weapon.
       The secret of course, and Sirach aknowledges this, is not because David was lowly and powerless, but that David “called upon the Most High God, who gave strength to his right arm,” and who came to the side of the young man, precisely because he was lowly, poor and powerless.
       Years of counseling work have taught me precious lessons. One of them is that brilliance of mind alone does not guarantee a happy and fulfilled life. But neither does being a simpleton and being a good-for-nothing lout assure one of that elusive life of contentment.
       Let us allow Sirach and his ramp model for the day give us a clue. David shows us two important truths. First, he was aware he was poor and powerless. He acknowledged it to himself and to at least one more — to God. Now, pan your imaginary camera to Goliath, who had a giant’s physique. He had a humongous ego and he made no secrets he disdained the boy.
       The story ends well. Goliath’s inflated ego went pfftt! David, whose glory Sirach extols, may have put down a giant, but before he could do that, he first slayed the bigger enemy within — his pride, as shown by his humbling plea and prayer to the “Most High God.” How does your own story unfold? Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: What is your own giant that you need to slay?
I humbly pray to You, O Lord, to help me conquer my biggest enemies — those that lay within me. Amen.

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