On a foggy night, Oct. 22, 1707, four British battleships crashed into the Scilly Islands south of Great Britain, drowning around 2,000 men. The cause was an error in navigation.
In that day, latitude, one’s location north to south, was not a problem. It was determined by the position of the sun or moon in the sky. But longitude, the position east to west, remained elusive to sailors as there were no celestial clues to rely upon.
This event may never have happened if Admiral Clowdisley had listened to one of his crewmen, who had been doing his own navigating. However, when the sailor approached Clowdisley with his calculations, revealing the fleet was off course, the admiral ordered him hanged as a mutineer.
As voyagers in life we often repeat this tragedy. We are self-professed experts in navigation. We have determined our course, weathered the storms and brought ourselves to our present location in life. However, we lack the ability to navigate as we should.
Fortunately, God is a master navigator. He knows our exact location and sends warnings to us of our peril. But like Admiral Clowdisley, we often reject His advice. We argue that we know where we are and where we are going.
Refusing to listen to God’s counsel, the next sound we often hear is the splintering of our lives upon the very rocks of which God warned us.
Do you know where you really are in life?
Are you safe?
Who is doing your navigation?
Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.