During the Revolutionary War, a loyalist spy appeared at the headquarters of a British colonel, carrying an urgent message. General George Washington and his Continental army had secretly crossed the Delaware River that morning and were advancing on Trenton, New Jersey where that troop of British soldiers were encamped.
The spy was denied an audience with the commander and instead wrote his message on a piece of paper. A porter took the note to the colonel, but because the colonel was involved in a card game he stuffed the unread note into his pocket.
When the guards at the camp began firing their muskets in a futile attempt to stop Washington’s army, the colonel was still playing cards.
Without time to organize, the army was captured. The battle occured the day after Christmas, 1776, giving the colonists a late present – their first major victory of the war. The British colonel ignored the warning, and was captured.
The commander had the word, but he failed to listen to it.
From Paul Decker’s Sermon: What a Way To Go!