Eugene Peterson shares these thoughts about The Poised Harpooner.
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"In Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, there is a turbulent scene in which a whaleboat scuds across a frothing ocean in pursuit of the great, white whale, Moby Dick. The sailors are laboring fiercely, every muscle taut, all attention and energy concentrated on the task. The cosmic conflict between good and evil is joined: chaotic sea and demonic sea monster versus the morally outraged man, Captain Ahab. In this boat, however, there is one man who does nothing. He doesn’t hold an oar; he doesn’t perspire; he doesn’t shout. He is languid in the crash and the cursing. This man is the harpooner, quiet and poised, waiting. And then this sentence: 'To insure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet out of idleness, and not out of toil.'”
In Psalm 46:10 we read, "Be still, and know that I am God.” Like the harpoonist in Melville's novel, we often find ourselves in turbulent waters - demands at work, traffic, house repairs, relationships turned sour, deadlines. When we're being tossed to and fro, before we act and before we speak, we need to be still before the Lord and remind ourselves that He is God. A few moments of repose can make the difference between a frantic, knee-jerk reaction and a calm, appropriate one.
Let's experiment: For the next seven days, for five minutes a day, be still and quiet before the Lord, and then in calm assurance, go "throw the dart."     

Written by Don McMinn, Ph.D. ( — May 19, 2014

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