An article written by my father, the Rev. C. Thomas Paige, as it appeared in the Tri-State Defender on the date shown.
Goliath goes down in history as a big man. His size had instilled in the hearts of many a sense of fear. The size of Goliath was the “talk of the town.” Then came the day of test. He finds himself face to face with a small boy who had come out to engage him in battle.
His first impulse was to laugh at the very idea of this immature youngster even having the nerve to think of engaging him in battle. But in the final analysis, Goliath learned that he was not as big as he thought himself to be, and he ended up in defeat.
Unfortunately, there are, in our world today, many people who have conceived the unfounded idea that they are big. But bigness is not found in large stature. Many of us use our size to bluff, but one day, we may awake to learn that we have lost our bluff, and that some small man has come up to defeat us in one of life’s biggest battles.
A few days ago I saw a man who is just about five feet four inches tall. According to modern standards of measuring, he would be a small man. But one needs only to talk with him to learn that he is much bigger than the outward appearance would make you believe. The very essence of a man’s size is not wrapped up in his size but in his outlook on life.
A man is as big as his heart allows him to be. A man’s real size is wrapped up in his obedience to the will of God.I heard a man say a few days ago that he had lived beside his neighbors for nine years and had never visited them, but in the instance of sickness or any kind of trouble, he would not hesitate to go in and do all that he could for their benefit. To this extent, he had established himself in the sight of the neighbors as a big man.
Then once again we look and we see that a man is big in proportion to the extent that he is able to go a little further than mere words. In far too many instances today, our religion and all that is about us starts and ends with what we say. Religion and life have become nothing but mere sayings. We need people who have come to grips with the vital things of life and are willing to pay whatever price is essential to bringing about a fuller life on the part of the whole world. No, bigness is not a matter or merely talking – it goes a little further than that. It is wrapped up in the ability to know what is right and having the moral stamina to do that. Far too many people with whom I come in contact each day know what is right but lack the fervor to stand up and cry out against that which is wrong.
The size of Goliath was brought before us as a physical bigness while a small boy, equipped with courage, overcame and subdued that which people thought was big.
Unfortunately, many people have a warped sense of what actually makes a man large. To some of us, the big man of the community is the one who owns the most materially. To many of us, the man who occupies the biggest place socially is the biggest man. These fall into insignificance when bigness is really wrapped up in the ability one has in being able to adjust himself to any kind of circumstance and soar to the utmost heights within those circumstances.
There are people today who think that it makes them great when they are able to have emotional upheavals and make life miserable for all those about them. The manager of the office who is able to have a “fit” and all about him who know that he is subject to such fits, live in constant fear that he might have one and someone loses his job.
Bigness is not wrapped up in the ability to instill fear into people but in your ability to instill in people a certain sense of security and faith that they are able to go into the darkest corners unafraid or walk the longest, darkest paths assured that they are within the care of one who cares for them and they need have no fears. Bigness is that characteristic that makes us see a wayward child and want to instill in him the desire to want to go on and amount to something. Bigness is wrapped up in one’s ability to transfer those desirable characteristics in ourselves to make them new creatures.