Sunday, June 7, 2009

Course Correction

“U-turn if possible”

I hear this all the time. We bought a Honda Odyssey back in 2000. With very few available at the time, we found ourselves buying one equipped with a navigation system. It hadn’t occurred to us that we needed one but it came in handy when we moved to New Hampshire soon after. The thing about these devices is that they’re not perfect. Ours relies on a DVD under the passenger seat; information that was probably outdated as soon as it was burned.

And it doesn’t know me. It can’t see through my eyes and see what the dangers are here and now. There was an episode of “The Office” in which Michael Scott drove into a lake because his car told him to keep going straight. You just can’t rely on this stuff.

In life, mid-course corrections need to be made frequently. We can get in our own way with pride, stubbornness, bad information, and negligence but if we’re willing to pay attention we have access to an awesome internal navigation system: The Holy Ghost.

One reason we need the influence of the Holy Ghost is that we can’t make course corrections if we don’t recognize when we’re off course. When we’ve sinned. If we don’t realize we’ve sinned then we don’t recognize our need for the Savior.

For as long as I can remember Michael has tried to impress this upon the kids. To get them to realize what the Savior really did for us. He wanted them to watch “The Passion of the Christ” and mentioned it frequently. I recently found the DVD hidden in the “Hoosiers” box so I guess we know how they felt about it. I imagine we’d probably get farther with them by bearing our testimonies more frequently.

I’ve been rereading “The Peacegiver” in a book group I’m in and in it the author James L. Ferrell emphasizes the point that it takes only one choice away from the Lord for us to lose interest in returning to the Savior. The necessity can easily become lost on us. He uses the example of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:9-13:

9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Once Adam and Eve made the decision to eat the forbidden fruit, what was the first thing they did? Hid from the Lord. When God asked Adam if he did in fact eat the fruit, the answer he received was a little round about. Adam made sure he brought up the fact that God brought him this woman to begin with—she gave it to him. He could clearly see her sin but his own wasn’t so obvious to him. Eve was the same way. She highlights the fact that she was tricked. But can we make course corrections when we’re seeing, “through a glass, darkly”, as Paul put it? Not likely. Seeing the bad choices we make in a totally unvarnished light should be our goal. Without that knowledge we can’t truly get how much we need the Savior.

From experience I can say it’s painful to look at ourselves, really look. Change is a constant battle. Still, we've been promised some pretty incredible things if we just keep up the good fight.

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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1 comment:

  1. Your post reminds me of the question is your faith about what you do or what you believe? A strong faith is definitely about both. But for someone like me, who is very interested in theology, I can forget to focus on the part of faith relates to what you do.

    I think when we miss the mark it is important to make correction so that we can live the better life that is possible through faithfulness. And I completely agree that dependence on God moving in our lives now, that is through the Holy Ghost, is essential to make that evaluation.

    I think guilt is not helpful. (Which, btw is why I was largely unimpressed with Mel Gibson's, The Passion, my review here http://tinyurl.com/l7hhp5) But that does not at all mean we should shy away from constant personal evaluation.

    Thanks for a thought provoking message.

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