Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the Iceberg: only a small glimpse of the whole image

Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead. Davy Crockett

Look before you leap. Italian Proverb

The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water. Sigmund Freud

  Icebergs are known for having most of their mass below the water’s surface. The vast majority of what constitutes an iceberg is not visible to the naked eye. To understand its true nature requires examining what lies underneath to really know the real threat it presents. The tip of the iceberg is but a small sampling. It is unwise to make judgments based on the little we can see.

    There is much about life that warrants using an iceberg to get our undivided attention. As humans we have a tendency to make major decisions or form opinions on superficial information. Having only a minimal amount of information, we throw caution to the wind and proceed as if we have all the knowledge we need. This can be a high risk approach that can get us into all kinds of trouble and into very deep water. It can sink our ship. The more serious the consequences, the more we need to look carefully at what lies below the surface or behind the scenes. We need to be disciplined and cautious before going forward into dangerous waters. The Titanic is a graphic reminder of the dangers of going “full speed ahead” with insufficient knowledge about what may be waiting for us. If there are potentially serious consequences associated with any action we may or may not take, it can be foolish to ignore these dangers and blindly proceed. Examples would include leaving our job for one we have not carefully researched, passing on harmful information about someone without knowing the whole story, or jumping to any serious conclusions with little or no information on which to make an informed decisions. How many times have we or someone we know, spread half-truth gossip, without carefully checking it out, only to cause that person, as well as ourselves, considerable pain and harm. How many times have we leaped before we looked? How many times have we gotten burned for our reckless decisions?

    There can be a fine line between being cautious and being too cautious. We can go overboard in the opposite direction and not make a decision for the fear of making the wrong one. We should be aware and alert, eyes and ears open, using our wisdom and experience and make the best decisions possible. It is sometimes prudent to err on the side of caution. We may have fewer regrets.

Challenge: Have you ever been foolhardy or reckless? It has happened to everyone. Looking back, where did you go wrong? Chances are if you been more cautious and deliberate, you would have had fewer occurrences of such disasters. Slow and steady is often better than the “bull in the china shop” approach. Remember to turn up the “caution control button” for those circumstances and decisions which have more serious consequences. 

Wisdom: If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius. Joseph Addison

Spiritual: (NIV)

His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Isaiah 28:26

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

The person who does not make any mistakes in life is probably not a real person. They are a figment of someone’s imagination. Making mistakes are part of life’s learning process. Trials and tribulations are out there waiting for us. They are the icebergs that lie in the way of our journey. Our goal should be to minimize these dangers and learn from all that happens. We need to become better navigators. God is there to guide and help.        

Prayer:  Please guide and direct me through the hazards that await me. Help me to learn and to grow.

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