Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On My Own–Part 4

The Dark Traveler
Mark 4:24  And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

In the beginning post of this series, we said that the photograph at the beginning of each post in the series is the inspiration.  And it is.  Whether we’re intentionally false teachers, whether we preach incorrectly because we learned incorrectly, or if we’re part of the flock and misled by either of those types of leaders, we still have a way toward a different result than we see in that image.  So, look closely at the picture.  And let’s weave a storyline or two into that image and see where they take us.


That ship has been sitting where it is for awhile, almost totally out of water, grounded in the shallows, only a foggy mist shrouding the very bottom of ship.  A ship that has become nothing more than a derelict.  There’s a certain beauty to the fading sunset ending the ship’s day.  But there are also angry looking clouds dimming the sunset.  If you look closely at the ship itself, we can see that there are patches where its very being is rusting away.  How did the ship get there?

Every ship has a crew to run and maintain it.   Officers direct where it goes, how fast it travels, how it deals with weather and hazards.  In the more dangerous passages, there are even smaller ships with there own crews and officers, called pilot boats.  The officers and crew of the pilot ship guide larger ships through safer channels, away from the hazards of shallow waters that are usually closer to land.  The officers of both the ships and the pilot boats study the the weather and the navigation charts.  Because the slightest error could lead to something akin to what we see in Mary Kay’s photograph.  The same result can occur from travelling narrow channels without the proper guidance.  Does that sound familiar in our own spiritual lives?

If we’re a leader and go our own way, not only do we head toward earthly goals, taking others in that same direction by our teaching and preaching.  If we are a counselor, a pastor, a spiritual guide that follows what we’ve been mistaught, our intentions are good, but we still take ourselves and others in a wrong direction.  And as those being led, like sheep we can follow the shepherd, the hired hand  or the wolf.  Or wander off on our own.  It doesn’t matter what level of authority we have.  We come down to the same spiritual accountability.  There’s certainly an added responsibility if we are guiding others.  But we can’t misdirect others without having first sending ourselves off on the wrong path.

As we close today’s thought, think about the verse at the top and how it applies to the stranded derelict spiritual man, run aground in the spiritual shallows.  We’ll finish, next time, with the steps to ensure smooth spiritual sailing.  What do you think those might be?

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