Time for Another Peterson Punch


Last night, I decided it was time for another “Peterson Punch”:*

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 the boat, however, there is one man who does nothing. He doesn’t hold an oar; he doesn’t perspire; he doesn’t shout. 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.”

Melville’s sentence is a text to set alongside the psalmist’s “Be still and know I am God (Ps. 46:10), and alongside Isaiah’s “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isa. 30:15).
Why do I never accept this “rest” concept and instead plow forward as a busy-body performing at about 65% of my potential?

*Note: This was borrowed from the book Living the Message.

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