Saturday, July 19, 2008

Battle Strategy – Distraction & Fatigue

Recently when I read Alma 52, I was struck by something interesting. I noticed that when Teancum was leading the Lamanite armies away from the city Mulek, his army was a small one, and yet he led them a merry chase, and when Teancum got to Bountiful, he tag-teamed with Lehi’s army, which was bigger and stronger. The Lamanites, by the time they chased up to Bountiful, were very tired and they couldn’t face Lehi’s fresh army, and this contributed to their defeat.

I learned three things from this.

First, the small things distract us, because we think that we can conquer them. We think they are easier than the big issues.

Second, pursuing the small distractions wastes our limited energy so that we become too tired to deal with the big concerns.

Third, it is wise to have a tag-team partnership, so that when we are tired, we can hand off our struggles to someone else long enough for us to be refreshed and strengthened enough to go at ‘em again.

Another thing that strikes me, now that I’m looking at this whole battle strategy, was how well Captain Moroni parceled out the responsibilities. I imagine something like this:

“Teancum, you will lead the Lamanite armies away from Mulek. Tease them as much as you want, but be elusive.”
“Awesome! Thanks!”
“Lehi, you will station yourself at Bountiful and take over the battle when Teancum comes up with the Lamanites hot on his heels. Look as scary and vigorous and strong as you can to intimidate them with your freshness.”
“Cool!”
“Part of my army will retake Mulek when the Lamanite armies run off after Teancum… we’re hoping they’ll be thoughtless enough to chase with their whole army.”
(snickers all around)
“The other part of my army will follow the Lamanite army, slowly to conserve strength, remaining out of sight until they get begin to retreat from Lehi’s fearsome crack troops. And we’ll all meet in the middle at this time. Lehi from the rear, my army from the front”

The duties were all equally shared so that everyone could have a part, but nothing that would over-extend their strength (which would make them vulnerable to defeat).

The Lamanites, on the other hand, were forced to do all the pursuing and fighting and so on all with the same army that got more and more tired as time went on.

What are you allowing yourself to get distracted by?