August 2, 2021

"Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville

There is a turbulent scene ... The sailors are laboring fiercely ....
The cosmic conflict between good and evil is joined;chaotic sea 
and demonic sea monster versus the morally outraged man, Captain Ahab.
In this boat, however, there is one man who does nothing.
He doesn't hold an oar; he doesn't perspire; he doesn't shout.
He is languid in the crash and the cursing.
This man is the harpooner, quiet and poised, waiting.
And then this sentence:  "To insure the greatest efficiency
in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their 
feet out of idleness, and not out of toil."

Concludes Eugene Peterson in his autobiography, Pastor: A Memoir:
The white whale, symbol of evil, and the crippled captain,
personification of violated righteousness, are joined in battle.
History is a novel of spiritual conflict.
The church is a whaleboat.
In such a world, noise is inevitable, and immense energy is
expended. But if there is no harpooner in the boat, there
will be no proper finish to the chase.  Or if the harpooner
is exhausted, having abandoned his assignment and
become an oarsman, he will not be ready and accurate
when it is time to throw the javelin.  (page 282)