Story of the Day for Tuesday November 15, 2011
Worth the Sweat
If you call out for insight and cry out for understanding, and if you seek it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
Jefferson Davis had a great idea. Serving as Secretary of War under President Pierce, he pushed hard for importing camels to transport military supplies in the arid southwest. Water between forts was scarce, and camels could lumber on for eight days without water in the summer, and eight weeks in the winter. Not only that, they could carry 500 pounds, while horses and mules could carry less than half that amount.
In 1856, Davis imported 79 camels from Arabia. And, since no one knew how to operate a camel, several Arabs were employed to care for them.
The camels showcased their virtues in June that next year. They carried water and supplies from Fort Defiance, New Mexico, to Fort Tyron, California. In this arid region, they proved themselves superior to horses and mules.
But matters took a turn for the worse. The Arab handlers spoke no English, and no one in the military spoke Arabic.
This is when the fun began.
While quartered in Camp Verde, Texas, the men were given a daily ration of beer. The Arabs, who don’t drink, poured out their beer in one of the camel’s water pails. The Army soldiers assumed that beer must be a necessary part of the camel’s diet, so they provided them generous amounts of beer, and discovered the camels were quite fond of their new drink.
Now, camels, at the best of times, are an ornery lot, and their surly nature was not improved by keeping them snockered. The camels staggered around and largely ignored the responsibilities of their vocation.
In the end, the Great Camel Experiment fizzled.
The American soldiers clearly saw the “facts” – namely, that the Arabs poured their beer into the camel’s pails. What they lacked, unfortunately, was the understanding of what those facts meant.
They had information but not understanding.
How many of our boneheaded decisions in life have been the result of misunderstandings about life? About God?
Wisdom doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes it’s like digging for hidden treasure. But don’t stop digging. The treasures of God’s wisdom are worth the sweat.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)