Time for a Course Adjustment?

Fr. Stephen Powley | 29 January 2022

When sailing in the ocean, one cannot simply set a certain compass setting and kick back for the next few weeks until the destination is reached. Winds and currents change. One needs to adjust their heading regularly or the destination will not be found.

This is so very true in life as well. The spiritual breezes (or winds) and the currents of life can easily get us off-course. We need to regularly take a look at our spiritual compass to make sure we are on the right path. The Lord encourages us to pay attention to where we are going. Often, we need to readjust our direction and get back on the right course.

An extreme example of this is found in the story of Cain and Abel found in Genesis chapter 4. Cain worked the soil growing crops and Abel kept flocks. When it was harvest time, we are told that Cain brought “some” of his crops as an offering to God. Note that word “some,” meaning that it wasn’t the first fruits of his harvest. Abel brought the firstborn of his flock to offer to God. It was Abel’s offering that was accepted by God.

Cain headed off in the wrong direction with his thinking and emotions. He needed a course adjustment or he would crash. God, in His mercy, warns Cain with these amazing words:

“Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6-7)

The counsel was simple: “Change directions Cain!” But Cain was too caught up with his anger. Instead of making a course adjustment, he continued on the wrong path and ended up committing murder.

This extreme example can be a head’s up for all of us. It is so easy to find ourselves on the wrong path spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically…you name it. The Lord has many, many ways of speaking to us when we get off-course. Regardless of how He lets us know, the message is the same: “Change direction now before you crash!” Warning signs can be found in our thoughts and in our actual words: “I have a right to be angry!” “Come on, it is just a little sin!” “I will never forgive that person!”

A daily checking of our spiritual compass will truly help keep us on-course as we journey toward our ultimate destination: The Kingdom of God for all eternity. May your journey be blessed.

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