Caution Triumph Over Glory?

When is it prudent to let caution triumph over glory?  When is it OK to go for glory in spite of the cautions?

Proverbs 27:12 says, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.”  and

Proverbs 14:15   “The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.”

So do we always have to hide ourselves to be prudent?  If we pass on and do it anyway,

Danger on the trail

Danger on the trail

are we always considered simple?  Like everything else, it depends on the situation, and of course, hearing from God.  In my post, 7 Qualities of a Pioneer, I talk about the way a pioneer mindset approaches this issue.

In this excerpt from the book From Woodstock To Eternity, Dustin Morgan approaches the issue from the mindset of a hippie pot dealer.

Many conflicting emotions hit Morgan at once.  The thrill of being involved in a new level of pot dealing is quickly clouded by a dose of reality that the stakes are higher now.  The sweet success of dealing has always had that twinge of “what happens if I get caught?”  And, the bigger the volume, the bigger the twinge.

Do I really want to get in this deep?  He ponders it for a second.  The conclusion is inevitable.  He’ll always wonder what would have happened if he doesn’t.  The next level is always a blind leap.  You’ll never know until you try.  The question is, do you have the guts to try, or is caution going to triumph over glory?

“You bet, brother.  Let’s do it.”

Some steps for a prudent man to consider about caution:

  1. Known cautions should always be weighed against the potential rewards.  If the roads are glazed over with freezing rain and snow, you don’t really need to go to the store for the soda pop and chips.  If the neighborhood is known as a high crime area, don’t let your single daughter get an apartment there because it is cheap.
  2. Cautions may or may not happen like they are advertised.  Many pioneers made it out West in spite of the Indians, rattlesnakes and weather.  Most people who fly make it safely, while those who refuse to fly are sure they will crash.
  3. Too much emphasis on caution can result in fear ruling your life.  A life ruled by fear never reaches its full potential.
  4. Too much emphasis on glory can result in bad things happening.    A life of constantly ignoring cautions can lead to destruction.  Morgan’s insistence upon pursuing the drug dealing lifestyle landed him in jail, and almost took away his freedom for a very long time.

    jailhouse blues

    jailhouse blues

  5. Sometimes the situation requires us to disregard all caution, because the cause is so desperate.  A normally overly cautious mother will lay down her life for her child.  A soldier in combat must face enemy fire in order to defeat him.
  6. Known cautions may be indicators of unknown consequences.  Morgan got away with many of his drug runs, and thought he had beat the caution of getting caught.  However, the caution not to do it was an indicator that there were other, unseen dangers:  Deteriorating character, increased drug use do due increased money, a distorted view of the world based on his temporary prosperity.  This leads to the next point:
  7. Sometimes we can’t identify what it is that we are cautious about.  This is called a “check” in the spirit.  You know you shouldn’t do it, you just don’t know why.
  8. We should always check with the Lord and pray for direction, no matter what the decision is.

Some Left Woodstock & Some Are Still There

In a recent radio interview with my old friend Charlie Olson, at East Texas Broadcasting,

KBUS Community Calendar Paris, TX

KBUS Radio

he was excited to talk about Woodstock, because it is such an icon in American Folklore.

Whether you agree with it or disagree, everybody has heard about the Rock Festival in the ’60’s that came to symbolize the hippie movement.

I remembered a friend I worked with that had been to Woodstock, was a little older than me, and still grew his hair out past his shoulders, clinging to the image he had in the old days.  I used to say to him, “you know, the difference between you and me is that I left Woodstock, but you are still there.”

I see this concept in all the “veterans” of Woodstock that I have met over the years.  The ones who have left are usually found in churches, where their previous affiliation with the psychedelic sub-culture is seldom mentioned.  The ones who are still there are usually

Woodstock Festival 1969

Woodstock Festival 1969

found on motorcycles, or in old pickup trucks with long gray hair and whiskers.  The funny thing is, in Texas at least, they both share the same political views about the government.  Leave my guns alone, kill the terrorists, and get out of my life.

The spiritual view is what is most important, however.  The Bible tells us

“…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Also, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”  2 Corinthians 5:17

The popularity of the Woodstock ideology was that it would bring peace and love to the world, as if it could be a substitute for Christianity.  Those who are still in Woodstock are still hanging on to these ideals – they do not want to forget those things that are behind them.  Those who have left have found a new life in Christ, and have let Woodstock pass away.

Perhaps the ones who are in the worst shape are those who have become new, but have not completely left Woodstock.  But that is a topic for another story.

I Remember When

Read this excerpt from a good friend of mine from the Woodstock era:

Can’t believe how much I enjoyed reading your book!
Of course you know I could identify with all the high school and B’burg references.
Let tell you some of my memories of some of the specific incidents you wrote about:
   I was with you and Gregg for the Hardees incident. I recall Slate showing up with a crow bar that be kept under the front seat of his Mustang.

From Woodstock To Eternity

From Woodstock To Eternity

I also ran into Bill on my way home from a summer construction job in DC and told him I thought he had been killed in Vietnam. Don’t remember if I  knew he had died.
   Also ran into Steve E at a head shop in Falls Church and he was pretty strung out at the time.
    I had my draft physical the same day as crazy Jim and rode on the bus from C’burg to Roanoke with him. Remember him in his big black boots and white underwear for the group part of the physical.
    I went to Atlantic City Pop Festival where I heard about Woodstock. But decided not to go to W because I knew I would miss some work and could not afford to do that. Did also go to Evansville though….
Nothing like an eye witness account to tell the stories!!
I believe there are many out there with bottled up tales that they would like to tell.  One of the missions of this blog is to provide a forum for people to vent and tell their stories, so please… leave your comments.
Due to the nature of the culture, it may sound impossible, but kindly leave out the profanity, sex and crude talk.  We want everybody to be able to enjoy it.

Help for New Self Published Authors

Some articles and books are better than others in giving useful information about publishing your own book.  In a discussion group on my LinkedIn

Promoting and Marketing Your Book

Promoting and Marketing Your Book

account (join and connect with John Cooper), I met this author and book marketing pro, Florence Osmund.  She shared a link to a page with enough information to keep an aspiring writer and self publisher busy for days.  I know I will be.

She gives detailed information about promotion, marketing plans, using Amazon and Kindle to full advantage, social media tips, book review tips, and much more – along with a long list of websites to research in each of these categories.

I think any new author who is dipping their toes into the self promotion, self marketing

world can get a great education by spending a few hours going through the web links and doing some in depth research.

Thanks Florence!  I know this will help me, and I hope it helps others as well.

The Spark of Transformation: It’s Not Working

From Woodstock to Eternity Excerpt:

When he was fourteen, he wanted to mock the rules of society and got his picture in the

From Woodstock To Eternity

From Woodstock To Eternity

paper for having long hair.  When he was sixteen, he snuck out of the house to hang out with the beatniks in Georgetown.  When he was eighteen, he went to Woodstock.  By the time he was twenty two, he had his own marijuana distribution network.  He got saved and started flying, but he never changed his stripes.  Everything he did in his adult life developed into a master plan to pursue the pleasures of the old world while reaping the benefits of the new.  Now, his plan is on trial, and the final verdict is obvious.  With a slab of sheet metal for a bed, and four walls of cinder blocks for a room, he has to admit to himself,

“It’s not working.”

Most Rehabilitation programs start with the acknowledgement that you need help.  Whether it is AA, Drug rehab, or Christian Ministries like Celebrate Recovery or Regeneration.  This is because, the One who is the power behind all Recovery, Jesus Christ, described the process in The Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.

Luke 15:17-19

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have

In the Pig Pen

In the Pig Pen

bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 ‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 “and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” 

Before you can fix something in your own life, you have to admit that something is broken.  You will never move on to finding help and solutions without first coming to the conclusion that what you have been doing is not working.

Unfortunately, this process forces the difficult conclusion that we were wrong, and it sometimes takes a big hammer to break our pride enough to admit that.  For Dustin Morgan, God had to put him into a jail cell, with the threat of even greater jail time ahead if he didn’t change.

This is not a bad thing.  When you humble yourself and admit that what you have been doing is not working, God gives you grace and power and light to see the new direction.  That is why humility and brokenness is the Spark that ignites the Transformation.