Daily Inspiration

October 17, 2015

Changing Course

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

~ John 8:12

All of us like to think we are smart. Many of us (and I suspect, most of us) think we are smarter than just about anybody else. And the more important we get, the stronger our conviction becomes. But consider a tale often told by sailors and yachtsmen:

A warship heading for the Panama Canal in foggy weather — we will call it the “Iowa” —realized that it was on a collision course with a radar blip far ahead. To prevent any chance of collision, it radioed, “Unidentified vessel at location 18°24′1″N 75°0′39″W, this is the U.S.S. Iowa, we are on apparent collision course; change heading to 20 degrees starboard relative.” The blip responded immediately, “Iowa, change your heading 20 degrees port ASAP.”

“I am a Captain in the U.S. Navy and I order you to change course,” the ship replied. “This is Seaman Second Class _____,” the answer came back, “Repeat, change course 20 degrees port soonest.” “Look here,” the ship radioed, “this is the U.S.S Iowa at 45,000 tons. Change your d--- course and identify yourself!”

“This is the Navassa Island Lighthouse.”

Jesus is the light, and the Bible is his Word; a lighthouse for us. And when we can see the light, when we understand the Word, we find it easy and sensible to comply. One person might understand, for example, the wisdom behind not committing adultery. He “sees the light”.

But what happens when the Bible tells us something and we have a different idea? Generally, people try to find some way around it. They ignore it, they “reinterpret” it, they find an argument why it is not relevant; they are, in short, smarter than the Bible and smarter than God. The problem we have if we do this is the same problem the battleship captain had. God's not moving. And no matter how smart we are, no matter how “big our ship is,” God's intelligence is infinite. Arguing with Him is like trying to move a land mass out of the way of your ship.

The Christian lives on faith, not understanding. We will understand all things one day; but now, we see “through a glass darkly”. So my advice is, strive for obedience to the Word. Then, when you are in the dark, you will have someone in the light who can tell you what course to take.


Lord, let my understanding be to understand what you want of me, not why; I pray that you will lead me into righteousness. Amen.


~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer


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