Use Your Jawbone

You guys have heard of the biblical icon Samson, right? Of course you have. If you’ve heard of Hercules, you’ve definitely heard of the man with the magic, black locks. His story begins in the book of Judges, Chapter 13. When you’re a little boy and you’re a fan of action movies, reading about this guy will rejuvenate that seven-year-old inside of you that would mimic everything he sees. There’s a scene where Samson uses the jawbone of a donkey and fights a fleet of opposing soldiers…all by himself! The only person I knew of back in the 80s that could do such a thing was Rambo, but he did it with a bowie knife and bow and arrow. Samson, on the other hand, was chosen. His long hair represented a covenant between his family and God, guaranteeing his protection. His story, like most heroic tales, proceeds to illustrate his rise and fall, ultimately defining his purpose. What sticks out amongst other details is his usage of a bone to defeat his enemies. It’s easy to ask yourself, how is this possible?

If you are possible, so is your calling.  Samson was gifted with great strength, causing him to do miraculous things that many could not.  He was such a threat that a plot was specifically created to weaken him so that others will have the upper hand. Amazing how one person can have such a vast effect on everyone surrounding. Well, if you haven’t figured it out already, that person is you. Your gift…is your jawbone. It may look small and obsolete in the eyes of others, but to your purpose, it’s the perfect tool. Imagine using your jawbone to slay comments on Facebook and Instagram. Imagine using your jawbone to utilize rejection letters from job opportunities or literary work submissions as fuel to proceed. They say the pen is mightier than the sword. So is a donkey’s jawbone, according to an Israelite. What you wield alone is never as strong as the power you put into it. The microphone is nothing without the words of the performer. The football is nothing without Cam Newton tossing it yards to a wide receiver. Trust your jawbone by trusting yourself and the ability with which you were born.

Samson also demonstrates that it’s never too late to fulfill the ultimate task in your life. I don’t want to give too many details away, but since Samson’s hair was the source of his strength, you can only fathom how weak he appeared bald, chained up with both eyes removed (Judges 16:21). That didn’t stop him from bringing down the house, sort of speak.  Your jawbone maybe a hula-hoop, a paintbrush, a manuscript, a piano, or just your two hands. Use them! They will do more than what their design limits them to practice. My jawbone is poetry. It always has been. I use it to fight against depression and anxiety. Inner conflicts are our worst enemies because they stay dormant once people step out of our lives. Don’t be ashamed to grab your weapon of choice. You’re more powerful than you assume.  You’ll be amazed at how much damage you can do when you channel your potential through something so small and inadequate in comparison to everything else.

- Calvin Pennywell, Jr.