Have you heard the tale of the Naval Vessel Captain who refused to change his course?
There was a large naval ship and what appeared to be another vessel with which the ship was on a collision course. The naval vessel quickly requested that the other ship change its course. The other party responded that the naval vessel should change its course. The captain of the naval vessel reiterated his demand, identifying himself and the ship he commanded, making threats, and insisting that the other vessel change its course. This elicited the response, “Naval Vessel, I’m a lighthouse. Your call!”
I’m pretty sure that this story could not happen, at least not with modern maritime technology, (unless I was the Captain of the ship)! It’s my understanding that the maritime maps, especially those used by the US Navy are pretty detailed and all lighthouse locations are known.
I still love the story though, because it embeds 2 principles in me that I think are worth sharing.
1) Change your course when you know you are in danger of crashing into the shore.
2) Stay the course unless principle #1 is clearly going to happen.
I had a life coach in Memphis, TN for a brief time. He was 97 when I met him and 98 when I was a part of the pastoral team that preached his funeral. He would have just celebrated his 103rd birthday on March 21, 2015. His last words to me, just 7 days before he would go on to an eternity with Jesus, were as follows…
“Dan, stay the course, stay the course, whatever you do, just stay the course!”
Fast forward to today, March 25th, 2015. I was sitting with a new life coach. He is a 76-year-old retired high school teacher/principle. We were sitting over a piece of free pie at the local Village Inn. Out of nowhere he calmly spoke these words to me…
“Dan, you just have to stay the course. Whatever you do, just stay the course!”
Suddenly I was sitting in 2 places at once, some 5 years apart. Hearing 2 men speak what decades of life, following Jesus, marriage, ministry, relationships, struggles, good times and bad had taught them both…
“Stay the Course!”
Galatians 6:9 (NLT), “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Joshua 1:9 (NLT), “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Luke 18:1 (NLT) “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.”
Can you hear the Captain of your life, your life coach say it you…
“STAY THE COURSE! WHATEVER YOU DO, JUST STAY THE COURSE!”