I have a problem. Wait, I’ll call it a challenge since it doesn’t sound quite so sinister. It’s actually a blessing…and a curse. So here is my humble confession:
Which, all things being equal, is not generally considered a bad thing. If you’re a cheerleader, that is.
And I never was, a cheerleader I mean, at least not in the “rah-rah-go-team”, pom pom and kicks sort of way. But I have a recognized (dare I say ICD-9 coded??) innate ability to grab onto a project, or a person, or a situation, and go from zero to sixty in 15 seconds. Yeah, that kind of problem, um…challenge.
Now, this irritates people, and not without fair reason. Hopes get built up which can’t always be delivered. Unqualified trust is placed in situations that are without the necessary merit. Time commitments are made without proper regard to others’ schedules or desires (like my husband, for example). And so forth.
I suppose I’m in pretty good company, which doesn’t give me license. Here’s another “cheerleader” that found himself in a bit of hot water:
“So he [King Ahaz of Israel] asked Jehoshaphat [king of Judah], ‘Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?’ Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, ‘I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.’” (1)
My husband calls this response “giving away the store”.
Unfortunately, Jehoshaphat had neglected to seriously consider with whom he was joining forces. Yes, this was the other half of the now divided Jewish kingdom, and yes, they shared the same history, the same ancestry, and the same divine covenant. But the reality was that they were worlds apart. King Jehoshaphat served the one true God, but his counterpart, King Ahaz…well, not so much. As the very intriguing story progresses, King Jehoshaphat ends up getting chased in a battle that was destined (predicted in no uncertain terms) to end badly.
And this is what I need to pin on my forehead: Count the cost before committing. That includes knowing my co-laborers, calculating the resources of time and energy, and considering who else might be impacted by my involvement. Like a wise man said: “It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge, and the one who acts hastily makes poor choices.” (2) Step #1, as always, pray and listen first.
Or I might find myself cheering for the wrong team.
- 1 Kings 22:4
- Proverbs 19:2 (NET)