Who Defeats Your Best Ideas?

It’s not what you know, it is what you do with what you know that matters. Information is good, but information alone is sterile. What matters is what you do with what you know.

Strange isn’t it, many seek more knowledge while not utilizing what is known. That is true in business, sports, family life, religion, and every area of life. As in algebra, to find the unknown start with the known.

Three hundred years before Christ, Erathosthenes conducted a significant experiment. He discovered that in the city of Syene at high noon a stick standing perfectly vertical cast no shadow.  Later, he also discovered that 500 miles away, at the exact same moment, a vertical stick cast a shadow of 7 degrees. This led to the following conclusion. 7 degrees is approximately 1/50 of the 360 degrees in a circle. If every 500 miles is 7 degrees, then the full circle of the earth would be 25,000 miles. Erathosthenes had calculated the earth’s circumference to within a few miles. From this he concluded the earth is round. 

Eighteen hundred years later Christopher Columbus sailed out of a safe harbor into an uncharted and foreboding sea. His intent was to sail to India. He, too, believed the earth was round. However, his calculations were off by 7,000 miles. It took weeks longer than anticipated to reach an unknown destination. He returned to this hemisphere four times and died in 1506 having no idea where he had been.

Today we pay tribute to Columbus, but few know the name Erathosthenes. Both had faith. One acted on his faith and the other didn’t. Erathosthenes did nothing with what he knew. Columbus had limited knowledge, but in faith he acted on that in which he had faith.

Is there some good adventure, project, or action you have the knowledge to achieve, but haven’t? Don’t let your song go unsung; your deed undone. Don’t succumb to been-gonna-itus.

Who defeats your best ideas? Who holds you back from what might be or you might become? Be honest. Our own worst inhibitor is ourselves.

As in algebra, to find the unknown start with the known. What part of God’s will do you know to do, and aren’t doing it?

In professional and spiritual matters this admonition is still valid: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”

Are you a spiritual Columbus or an Erathosthenes?