“These be the names of the mighty men whom David had. . .Shammah. . .And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentils: and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD wrought a great victory.” II Samuel 23:8, 11 – 12
Lentils. Plain. Simple. Ordinary. Lentils.
An inexpensive meal. A meal without exotic spices or complex flavours. A cheap meal. A meal for everyday. Almost boring.
And yet, David counts Shammah as one of his Mighty Men for defending a field of plain, ordinary, non-exotic, boring, lentils. The verses stayed with me throughout my day. My day of oatmeal, sweeping the kitchen floor, folding T-shirts, listening to piano lessons, making P&J for lunches, driving kiddos to soccer, returning library books, sorting through summer clothes, practicing math fact, bending over to pick up toys again, unloading the dishwasher, mediating a fight about whose turn it is to sit in the front seat, flipping over the laundry, etc. . . Basically my plain, simple, ordinary, daily life. My lentils.
The Daily is so hard. I don’t know who said this, but I find it true, “Any idiot can handle a crisis, it’s the daily life that is hard.”
“Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out.”
So often the Daily seems so un-glamorous, so un-exciting, so un-important, so boring, so plain. Like lentils. I thought of my Daily as being my lentils. Will I stand and defend them against enemies. Or will I give up, give in, and throw out the boring daily battles?
Fields are usually flat. Fields are not on top of craggy mountains or along sandy beaches or in magestic wooden glens. The view is limited, yet fields feed the entire world.
Fields are usually flat. There are rows and rows evenly laid out. The daily.
Fields are usually flat. There is nothing to hide behind. Fields are not easy to defend as attacks can come from all sides. The verse says, “[Shammah] stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines.” But standing (not slouching in the Lazy-Boy), defending (an action verb), and slaying (that would take some energy) do not result in a victory.
The verse does not read “Step A + Step B + Step C = Victory.” That is leaving GOD out of the lesson. Out of our life. Out of the Daily. The verse reads, “. . .and the LORD wrought a great victory.” HE orchestrated the victory.