We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

A Message to Garcia

Could the president of the United States count on you to deliver a message that would change the course of history?

In the short but inspirational pamphlet, A Message to Garcia, Elbert Hubbard tells of a man who did exactly that. Hubbard writes,

“When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the insurgents. General Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba-no one knew where. No mail or telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his co-operation, and quickly.

Someone said to the President, ‘There is a fellow by the name of Rowan [who] will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.’

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. [He] . . . took the letter, sealed it up in an oilskin pouch, strapped it, over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island…[President] McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, ‘Where is he?'” (p. 13-14)

On Initiative, Hubbard remarks:

“It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies, do the thing . . . (p. 14-15).”

In Ecclesiastes 9:10 we read “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . .”

If you have a child who lacks initiative, A Message to Garcia and The Boys of Grit series are packed full of inspiring stories of children and adults who, by initiative, changed the world.

To read Colonel Rowen’s own account of his perilous journey, click here. To read a newpaper article on the intersection of Hubbard and Rowen’s stories, click here.

Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 5:34 am  Comments (2)  

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