“It is the image of nothing in the heavens above, or the earth beneath, or the waters under the earth.”
In March of 1862 a surprising battle along Hampton Roads, Virginia coastline brought unexpected changes to future naval conflicts. Earlier in the fall, a decision needed made. Lincoln held a pasteboard model of John Ericsson’s ironclad and stated, ‘All I have to say is what the girl said when she stuck her foot in the stocking. It strikes me there’s something in it.’ The USS Monitor, also called “Ericsson’s Folly” by the press, sported a nine-foot-high revolving turret and was covered with iron plating. The Navy Department agreed to build Ericsson’s design, because confederates had refitted the USS Merrimack frigate into an ironclad called CSS Virginia and it threatened to wreak havoc with the Federal fleet.
At first John Ericsson was passed over and turned down by jealous or shortsighted men when he’d offered his design. This could partially be because he’d developed what appeared to be an impossible solution. Yet he wisely took the doors that were pried open by circumstances and the need inherent from war. The USS Monitor proved a worthy opponent for the CSS Virginia and for a time thwarted the destruction heading toward northern ships.
Life can be difficult and people can oppose our best inspiration and offerings because of selfish insecurities or fickle favor. When we dare to believe and take action by sharing our skills and extending ourselves to better the world, we are rewarded. Strength and character that would never have been, becomes a reality. Hang on until you meet your Lincoln. Ignore negative press and resist the manipulation of those distorted by jealousy. Uncertainty could hinder your purpose, causing the future to seem impossible to predict, making the risk of being vulnerable in sharing your unique ideas cloudy at best. Still, I urge you to press on!
During that battle, so long ago on March 7th through the 8th, 1862, smoke wreathed the ships as the battle raged. Yet decisions still needed made, despite hindered visibility. Lives were saved those days that wouldn’t have been if Swedish-born marine engineer John Ericsson had not been tenacious. His confident presentation of his vessel, his resisting the insults and hostile publicity by the press shows his courage, as he continued to move forward. The world took note as they received news of the North and South’s ironclad vessels engagement. Don’t hold back. Share your unique gifting and insights, always looking to Father for direction and strength.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Let’s pray. Father, may we seek Your face and allow the talents You prepared in advance for us to develop and share be used to bless those You love so well on this side of Heaven. Precious Father may we work together and enjoy the journey. Amen
Witness To The Civil War First-Hand Accounts from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Smithsonian, Copyright © 2006 HarperCollins Publishers, page 59 Chapter 3.