Are You On The Right Course?

Donald R. Cooper

Most readers of this article have probably either heard or read the story, supposedly true, of a Navy ship on patrol in the Atlantic Ocean sometime during World War II, when the captain of the vessel noticed a strange light in the distance through the fog. The light appeared to be headed toward the ship so the captain commanded, “Signal that ship to change course ten degrees to the west.” A signal came back from the light, “Change your course ten degrees to the east.” The captain angrily responded, “I am the captain of this Naval ship; change your course.” Again, a reply came from the direction of that mysterious light, “I am a seaman second class; change your course ten degrees.” This time the captain’s message took a combative sound, “This is a U. S. Destroyer; change your course ten degrees now, or suffer the consequences!” The response was very brief: “Change your course; this is the lighthouse!”

A certain degree of pride and arrogance seems evident on the part of the captain of that naval ship. I hope that he heeded the final warning of the one manning the lighthouse and a catastrophe was avoided.

I am sure that most of us have at one time or other been traveling and found ourselves on the wrong road. If it occurred near the end of a journey, it was probably very irritating. We are usually weary at that point, and to realize that we have gone the wrong way for several miles just adds to our woes. However, there is only one thing to do: Turn around, and go in the right direction if we want to reach our intended destination.

Many conscientious souls are traveling the wrong direction spiritually and do not realize it. Some, finding out that they are on the wrong road are not inclined to turn and go in the right direction. They reject the Savior’s instructions found in Matthew 7:13, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” Why would one travel a way that will eventually and eternally lead to destruction? It is for the same reason the captain of that ship tried to ignore the commands coming from the lighthouse. Many are filled with stubbornness and pride and are trying to chart their own course, a way that will only lead to disaster (Proverbs 16:25). According to Jesus, who is our Savior and Judge, the vast majority of people are traveling on the wrong pathway, the one that will lead to eternal destruction, the “second death” (Revelation 20:15).

Christ has charted a safe course for man to follow, a way that leads to life eternal, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14). That safe course is set forth for man in the New Testament. We should consult the divine road map as we journey through life. “… it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Friend, if you are on the wrong road, turn while you have time and take the right road, the one that will lead to life everlasting. -95 Lynn Dr., Mansfield, Ohio 44906.

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