Sunday, July 09, 2006

Despite the power of the tongue...

... it doesn't always work. Once, the apostle Paul gave navigational advice and was not heeded:
Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous.... So Paul warned them, "Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also." but the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.

...Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the "northeaster," swept down from the island. ...

We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

Acts 27.9-11,14,18-20
I guess Luke gives us these details so we'll see how the Lord is willing to guide if we will but listen.

I'm certainly not enough of an expert to know whether the pilot and the owner of the ship were being reasonable and were just caught by a freak storm -- oh, but wait, this hurricane-force wind has a name, the "northeaster," so maybe it wasn't a freak storm -- or were just trying to make a few more bucks from all these passengers. Paul's opinion wasn't popular, but that didn't make it wrong.

A few years ago, there was some discussion in the Congress about forces needed in Iraq. Now I don't know if General Shinseki (USA Ret.) is a Christian or not, but he also had some advice which wasn't heeded. He
told them we'd need several hundred thousand troops on the ground to keep the peace in postwar Iraq. This was an unpopular opinion, but that didn't make it wrong.

Powerful people making bad decisions -- it has ever been thus.
So what do we do? Who was it that said
You can do more than pray after you pray, but until you pray, the most important thing you can do is to pray
? I'm sure I don't have the quote right, but you get the idea.

You and I need to pray for the leaders in our cities, our states, our country... in our world. We need to do whatever else we need to do, too, but we definitely need to pray.

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