Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the battleship that noted it was on a collision course with another ship whose light was directly in their path. The captain ordered his signalman to signal the other ship and tell it to alter its course. The response from the other ship was to refuse the captain’s orders. The captain was furious at having his orders denied, so he had his signalman send another message. Once more, the response was negative, and ordered the battleship to change its course instead. The exasperated captain then told his signalman to send this message, “I’m a battleship, change your course 20 degrees.” This time, the response was, “I’m a lighthouse.” Needless to say, the battleship changed course.
The story is humorous, yet how similar it is to the way we live. We want to do everything our way and think the world should adjust to our way of thinking. We push forward despite warnings or advice to change our direction, stubbornly ignoring other, wiser voices. And yet, like the battleship, if we don’t change course, we’ll end up shipwrecked. At that point, we wonder what happened.
The shipwreck is a consequence of going the wrong way. The lighthouse flashes are warnings to stay away from the shore, as well as, signals which give direction and location. Like telling a child not to touch something hot because they’ll be burned, the warning is for our own good, to help us avoid pain and injury. Yet, if you’ve ever been around a two-year-old, the response is often “No!” As adults, we do the same thing.
A friend warns us against getting involved with someone who has a bad track record or a bad habit. Yet, we stubbornly ignore the warning, thinking things will be different with us, then find ourselves regretting the decision later. Sometimes, the warning is against drinking or drugs. Yet, if we ignore those warnings, we can get in all types of trouble, both physically and legally. And of course, there are many other examples you can think of, perhaps, that you or someone you know has experienced.
Like the battleship, we have a strong self-will that wants our own way. Our will fights against God’s will for our lives. In the Bible verse on this website, it tells us where to find our lighthouse. Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” God’s word is full of warnings and directions for making choices, yet we either ignore them or aren’t aware of them. Has anything ever happened to you that you said afterwards, “I wish someone had told me about that?” Well, Someone is trying to. And that Someone is doing it for our own good, so we won’t have to suffer the consequences of bad decisions and end up shipwrecked.