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Know Jack #363 Timely Good Ideas?

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”

Ecclesiastes 3

I am not big on scripture memorization. However, I once had my youngest daughter memorize the above line from Ecclesiastes which I consider one of the greatest bits of wisdom ever. She had this rather annoying habit of butting into adult conversations. I wanted her to know her thoughts were valuable, but that there was an appropriate time and place for them.

What an ancient idea, right? However, having been frequently guilty of the same crime against my elders, I had learned the hard way there’s a time to speak and a time to be silent. As you can tell that particular bit of knowledge fled from me as I got older, leading to my oft-repeated lament, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

My timing has not always been the best. I gave up a military career to go into the ministry. It was a good idea, but the time and place were all wrong. Disaster ensued. I couldn’t have timed my exit from active ministry to nursing at a more opportune time. I had a very wonderful time as a nurse—maybe too good. It took a nonfunctional left leg and subsequent back surgery to persuade me to move on to writing full-time. Writing is a true godsend.

Launching into publishing seemed like a good idea at the time. I suppose time will tell how good that idea turns out to be. The truth is we seldom know in the moment what the end will be. We have only faith in our values and our prayers to go on.

Winston Churchill, who shouldered the entire blame for Gallipoli was cast into political outer darkness for his idea. Nevertheless, his time came again. Standing almost alone in his own cabinet, he refused to negotiate a peace offered by Hitler after the fall of France. He left to us this bit of wisdom.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Keep on keeping on.


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