Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Damn the torpedoes...."

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. -Proverbs 19:2 (ESV)

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut (1801-1870), the first senior officer of the U.S. Navy at the time of the Civil War, most certainly would have leaned more toward the later implication in this Proverb. His famous Civil War quote... "Damn the torpedoes, Captain Drayton four bells Jouett full speed!", resulted in a Union victory in Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864. While this snap decision making clearly paid dividends for Admiral Farragut, and is certainly appealing in a Hollywood action scene ....more often than not, careful planning, calculating the cost, weighing pros & cons ...pay dividends here in the real world. At the same time, sooner or later, ya' gotta' make a move! Careful planning is great, but planning to the point of procrastination never gets the job done.

There are two clear implications in this Proverb. To put it into the modern vernacular...

1. "look before you leap", as my mother often reminded me, and...
2. "haste makes waste" ..now ya' know where that came from

When put that way ...the two implications seem almost contradictory. But like most everything in life... "balance" is the key.

Our Heavenly Father made each of us unique; each with qualities that, when made corporate, can move mountains and win victories. I know those who are gung-ho, and I know plenty of folks with very good intentions and ideas / ideals who simply need help getting the ball rolling. There is a time to plan, and most definitely a time to act. As, no doubt, was the case with Admiral Farragut, the key is... having the wisdom to know the difference.


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