at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Don't be Hasty: A Stolen Pillow and a Talking Tree (Herder, that is)

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Proverbs 19:2)

Have you ever been so excited about something that you charged ahead full force without fully considering your actions? It's easy to do when it's something you are passionate about, or even if you're just in a hurry and don't take care to stop and think before you move. Serious mistakes can be made through this sort of carelessness. Not to make light of the matter, but to draw from recent experience, I have a rather silly example of this.

I stole a pillow. There, you have it. My confession. It wasn't on purpose, mind you, but because I was a bit too hasty...and just downright impatient. You see, I had been planning to redo our master bedroom decor and had gotten to the point where I was tired of looking up ideas and ready to be done with the project. But, that meant I had to commit to a look and purchase my new bedding and other pieces. So, I very quickly went through my list of saved pieces for my bed set and realized too late that I had purchased a pillow off Amazon that was coming from overseas. Not on Prime. Not to arrive until weeks after everything else. And this was not just any pillow. This was the focal point of my new bedroom design. It was a peacock pillow. Fancy Peacock Pillow, it was called. Realizing this mistake, I quickly emailed the seller and asked to cancel my order stating the ship time was too long -- and immediately purchased off another site. Crisis averted. Almost.

The next morning, I had an email from the Amazon seller assuring me that my Fancy Peacock Pillow would be there very quickly, and urging me to keep my order. Fine. If it would be there on time, I would keep that one since it was cheaper and cancel Fancy Peacock Pillow order #2. And so I told her such -- a bit too hastily, as I found out, since when I called to cancel order #2, it had already been processed. After jumping through some hoops, I finally confirmed that I could cancel order #2. Only, it didn't really get canceled. I didn't get charged for it, but they also failed to stop the shipment, and it unexpectedly arrived at my doorstep couple days later. To make matters worse, cheap Amazon Fancy Peacock Pillow arrived as simply a sham without a pillow insert. Duplicate, stolen pillow arrived as a true Fancy Peacock Pillow in all its glory. Ugh.

I mean, is this not the fanciest peacock pillow you've ever seen??
I decided to keep the stolen pillow and try to pay for it. But when I emailed the company, they said they didn't have my payment information and that I'd have to call the 1-800 number. Ugh again. I called, already annoyed (after all, why should I be inconvenienced for trying to do the right thing!), was placed on hold for several minutes (you know how it goes), and in my further impatience, I gave up. For a few weeks. I was so frustrated at the silly situation, but eventually realized I really should be annoyed at myself for 1) not paying attention to exactly what I was ordering (sham from China), and 2) being too hasty in my buying/canceling. And, of course, for using a stolen pillow for a number of weeks with only minor remorse, but that's a different lesson.

After realizing that this was all my fault to begin with, I decided to wait out the hold music until I could talk to someone and actually pay for said pillow. I felt much better after I did and no longer felt the shame as the peacock stared me down while making my bed each morning. As a side note, I kept the sham, too, because I didn't want to bother trying to return it to China. And now I have two Fancy Peacock Pillows. Because everyone needs a spare.

New bedroom decor is now fully paid for! Hooray for not stealing.

A silly example perhaps, but I think it still demonstrates how being hasty often causes you to act without thinking and make unwise choices. Wisdom is taking the time to gain knowledge of a situation before acting. It's pausing to think and observe before you move. It's looking ahead to be sure that you're taking the right path and not unwittingly passing it by.

This is a lesson that the Ents know well -- perhaps a little too well. Ents? Yes, you know, tree herders. Shepherds of the forest. In case you're unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings, allow me to enlighten you and share another silly example in the opposite extreme. Meet Treebeard, the Ent.

There's something you should know about Ents. They are most definitely not hasty. Here's a case in point:

In fact, I think Ents tend to take things to the opposite extreme. Whatever the opposite of hasty is, that is the Ents. They think and ponder and take a year to say a sentence, but rarely seem to actually do anything. Only deliberating and never actually doing isn't what we are called to. We are called to love "with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18)." Having zeal and proactively following a course are good things -- so long as they are tempered by knowledge, forethought and wisdom.

In the end, the Ents were finally spurred to make a decision to act. By that point, they knew what had to be done -- and they were instrumental in saving Middle Earth.

The lesson as I see it is this: Don't be hasty lest you end up with superfluous peacocks cluttering your bedroom, and don't be so permanently rooted in indecision that you never branch out toward something better.

So let's have passion. Let's have zeal and enthusiasm. But let us first set forth a solid direction, through wisdom, prayer, knowledge and discernment.


For my 31st birthday, I decided to write down 31 of my favorite proverbs, or wise sayings from the Bible that I had been studying.  This year, I am hoping to take a deeper dive into each of them and share some thoughts on them with you here.

Share this:


Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!