The story of David and Goliath has been on my mind lately. Malcolm Gladwell has published a book about the story. And he has completely changed the way I understand the story. At the same time, 2018 and goals have been on my mind as well. How do these two come together? In my view, awareness. How might you ask? Well, we’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to highlight a part of Malcolm Gladwell’s new understanding of the David and Goliath story.

Goliath was over nine feet tall. Medical researchers have studied this. They have tried to figure out how this was possible. They’ve concluded that it is most likely a condition called agromeglia. The same condition that Abraham Lincoln most likely had. Agromeglia can cause vision problems. When we look closer at the David and Goliath battle, it becomes evident that Goliath most likely had vision problems. For example, when David approaches. Goliath responds in verse 43, “Am I a dog? That you come to me with sticks?” But David didn’t have sticks. He had one sling in his hand. Goliath most likely was either near sighted or double visioned due to agromeglia. Also, his armor bearer, had to guide him on the battlefield. This is mentioned in verse Why is this? Why is this fearsome soldier, this giant of a man, being brought by the hand toward David and the Israelite army? Again, it’s most likely because he couldn’t see well. We can picture how this affected the fight. Did Goliath see David’s stone fly at him? The point is, the battle was not going to end well because of Goliath’s agromeglia.

Awareness. Goliath lacked awareness of the situation. He lacked awareness that David could easily kill him. Around New Years, we look back at the previous year. We look forward to this year. This makes me wonder, what are places in my life where I lack awareness? Granted, I’m not on a battlefield like Goliath was. I don’t have an Israelite slinger, David, in front of me. But each of us need awareness in life. Awareness of our strengths and weaknesses. Awareness of the people around us. Awareness of how God is at work. So as you look to 2018, take a moment to pray. Ask God how you are doing with awareness. Are you blind like Goliath? Or, do you have situational blindness where you can see most things but lack awareness of details or specific people? If you are brave, you can even ask friends, family, even your spouse, how are you doing when it comes to awareness?