The Great White Fleet
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” – Theodore Roosevelt
The above phrase, often misquoted as “walk softly and carry a big stick”, was included in a letter written by Theodore Roosevelt to Henry Sprague on January 26, 1900. Apparently, Roosevelt also made reference to it in a speech he delivered as president in 1903.
Eventually, the phrase took on a life of its own and became a symbol for Roosevelt’s foreign policy which included building the Panama Canal. Roosevelt’s foreign policy also included sending the Great White Fleet on a 15-month world tour, the purpose of which was to make courtesy calls on numerous countries, while simultaneously showcasing U.S. naval power to the world.
I recently saw a post on one of my friend’s Facebook page and it went Roosevelt “one better”. “Be loud, pray fervently”, she wrote.
What my friend was saying was that the duties of modern-day Christians are two-fold: to proclaim the gospel message loudly and clearly (while also speaking out against injustice in the world); while also praying fervently for God to intervene in our affairs. In other words, to act as if everything depends on you and to pray as if everything depends on God.
Pretty good advice, if you ask me. I think ol’ Teddy would agree, too.
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (NKJV)
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President