Thursday, November 17, 2016

You Dead Dirty Rat

  Why would the British Government in 1941 purchase hundreds of dead rats?  To defeat the Nazi’s of course.

  You see, rats were a problem for Germans and British alike.  Rats had a habit of getting onto trains, and at times, they’d make their way to the boiler room of a steam engine.  Firemen, whose job it was to keep tossing coal into the furnace to keep the steam coming, would habitually toss any dead rats into the furnace.  The plan was to smuggle the dead rats, laced with a tiny amount of plastic explosives, into Germany and onto trains. When the dead rats were thrown into the furnace they would explode enough to sabotage the train and its delivery but not so much as to cause a major disaster.[1]

  It might have worked too if the shipment had not been intercepted on route.  Then again maybe it worked out for the better.  What sounds like a failure turned out to be a success.  The Nazis had stopped the first and only shipment of dead rat bombs, but they didn’t know that.  All dead rats were now suspect, and German firemen had to be on constant lookout for dead rats among the coal heaps. The subsequent drop in efficiency of German trains was a victory for the British, albeit an accidental one. The official word was as that “the trouble caused to [the Nazis] was a much greater success to us than if the rats had actually been used”.

  Many problems we face are like these dead dirty rats.  They become bigger issues in having to deal with them than really would have been in the first place.  The hubbub is more concerning than act.  The correction has to be proportional or else the issue blows up it something worse.

  I see that in how Paul handles the many problems of 1st Corinthians. He deals with the issue without letting it run amok. For example how he ends the discussion of head covering in 1st Corinthians 11:16:
“But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

  You can’t ignore problems, they must be handled. But don’t let those molehill problems be fixed with mountain climbing efforts.  Don’t let the reaction reach beyond the result. 

[1] Credit: Now I Know by Dan Lewis

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