You'd think that the following was written yesterday. But George Morrison was a Scottish pastor who lived from 1866-1928!
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. —Ecclesiastes 11:4
The language in which this proverb is couched is taken from the harvest field and is therefore peculiarly applicable at this season. That does not mean, of course, that the way to succeed in farming is entirely to disregard the weather. But it means that if farmers will not work except when all the conditions for their work are perfect, if they are always doubting and fearing and forecasting rain, worrying and fretting instead of making the best of things, then probably they will neither sow nor reap and are little likely to make successful farmers. Just as a person may fail through too much zeal, so may a person fail through too much prudence.
In the first place, I like to apply our text to the important matter of our bodily health. If people are always thinking of their health, the chances are they will have a sorry harvest. That we must be reasonably careful of our bodies we all know; it is one of the plainest of our Christian duties. By the coming of the Son of God in our flesh and by making the body the temple of the Spirit, by the great doctrine of the resurrection, when what is sown in weakness will be raised in glory, the gospel of Christ has glorified the body in a way that even the Greeks had never dreamed of. But I am not speaking of reasonable care; I am speaking of morbid and worrying anxiety. Why, you can hardly drink a glass of milk today but some newspaper will warn you that you may be poisoned. And what I want you to feel is that that alarmist attitude, which will scarce allow you to breathe in this glad world, is the kind of thing that is denounced by Solomon in the memorable proverb of this verse. Lean on the Keeper of Israel and go forward.
George H. Morrison, “The Fault of Over-Prudence,” in The Wings of the Morning (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, n.d.; reprint, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1994), 121–25.
Source: Diana Wallis, Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church’s Great Preachers (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001), 292.