Planning of Works
British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein was once visited in his studio by the eminent author and fellow Briton, George Bernard Shaw. The visitor noticed a huge block of stone standing in one corner and asked what it was for.
"I don't know yet. I'm still making plans."
Shaw was astounded. "You mean you plan your work. Why, I change my mind several times a day!"
"That's all very well with a four-ounce manuscript," replied the sculptor, "but not with a four-ton block."
Today in the Word, April 5, 1993.
During WWII General McArthur asked an engineer how long it would take to build a bridge across a certain river. "About three days." The engineer was told to go ahead and draw up the plans. Three days later McArthur asked for the plans. The engineer seemed surprised. "Oh, the bridge is ready. You can cross it now. If you wants plans, you'll have to wait a little longer, we haven't finished those yet."
Plan ahead, it was not raining when Noah built the ark.
The class of noisy boys in a German primary school was being punished by their teacher. They were assigned the problem of adding together all the numbers from 1 to 100. The boys settled down, scribbling busily on their slates -- all but one. This boy looked off into space for a few moments, then wrote something on his slate and turned it in. His was the only right answer.
When the amazed teacher asked how he did it, the boy replied, "I thought there might be some short cut, and I found one: 100 plus 1 is 101; 99 plus 2 is 101; 98 plus 3 is 101, and, if I continued the series all the way to 51 plus 50, I have 101 50 times, which is 5,050."
After this episode, the young scholar received special tutoring from his teacher. The boy was Karl Friedrich Gauss, the great mathematician of the 19th century.
Bits & Pieces, April 30, 1992.
Hudson Taylor had definite convictions about how God's work should be done. We can make our best plans and try to carry them out in our own strength. Or we can make careful plans and ask God to bless them. "Yet another way of working is to begin with God; to ask His plans, and to offer ourselves to Him to carry out His purposes."
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 243.
Some years ago a young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. "That depends," replied the foreman. "Let's see you fell this tree." The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, "Start Monday!" Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, "You can pick up your paycheck on the way out today."
Startled, he replied, "I thought you paid on Friday."
"Normally we do," answered the foreman, "but we're letting you go today because you've fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you've dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday."
"But I'm a hard worker," the young man objected. "I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!"
The foreman, sensing the boy's integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, "Have you been sharpening your ax?" The young man replied, "I've been working too hard to take the time."
K. Hughes, Liberating Ministry From The Success Syndrome, Tyndale.