Day 2: God, Be My Conning Officer
Proverbs 3:11–12 (NIV): “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
The bridge of the USS JFK is where the captain directs the ship. All decisions that affect onboard operations are made from here. There is a group of about twenty sailors, officer and enlisted, whose duty station is the bridge. They are there to support the captain, carry out his orders, and report the status of those onboard operations. Key among this support staff are the officer of the deck, the navigator, and the conning officer.
One afternoon while visiting the bridge, I noticed that we began to heal to port, and we tilted to the left. The conning officer immediately asked, “What’s going on? Rudder…mid-ship.” It turns out that the helmsman had allowed a drift of just a few degrees, which caused us to list (tilt) unacceptably. After the corrections were made, I asked the conning officer what would have happened if our listing had not been corrected. “We would have lost aircraft and possibly sailors over the side,” he replied. His seasoned judgment allowed him to make quick, corrective adjustments that saved lives and assets.
In writing the book of Proverbs, Solomon understood the restorative need to have God’s correction. Much like the conning officer on the JFK, Solomon enjoyed that kind of relationship with God. He looked to God to provide corrective balance in his life. There are times when inattentiveness can cause us to list one way or the other. Yet, if we heed the corrective demands of God’s word, we can quickly adjust and not lose valuable assets or, at worst, our very lives. Remember:
God, if I move too quickly and from your word begin to stray,
Balance me with your presence, God do not let me sway.
Open my eyes and ears to all that you do and say,
Then chasten me, lead me, and help me find my way.
Questions to Consider:
- Does your relationship with God allow his correction of you?
- How do you respond when corrected by God? By others?
- Have you ever failed to heed God’s corrective voice? What happened?
Reflection for the Day:
- Consider the joy of having a relationship with God that allows correction. Think about how fortunate we are that God cares.