course correction

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There is saltwater in my veins.

Not really, but the sea has long been important in my lineage.

My maiden name is Welsh and means “of the sea.”  The story goes that Sir Henry Morgan, famous British pirate, begat someone who begat someone who begat someone, on and on an on it goes until, tada, here I am.

My own father was a sea captain and salmon fisherman for much of my life.  My very own Captain Morgan.

This morning I asked my dad, “In a boat what makes changing course so difficult?  Is it because you have to go against the current?”

I wast thinking about how I’ve become lax this summer in some areas with myself and the kids.  Letting them snack more, watch more, veg out more.  Which yes, it’s summer, but still it was getting a little crazy up in here.  We needed to get back on course.

I was thinking about our nation and I don’t even know what to say.  It’s like words don’t even rise up, it’s just a deep sigh that comes out, heavy and disappointed in the direction we are going.  We need to get back on course.

My dad replied, “Recognizing the need to correct the course is the hard part.  You have to admit you’re not on course.”

I wasn’t expecting that.  I was expecting currents, and having to buck agains them, cross them, the act of moving the boat.  But no, it is the fact that the one at the helm, the one in charge, the captain, has to be able to admit there was an error and correct it.

It is ego that gets in the way of being able to properly correct a course.  The opposite of ego is humility.  Humility will get us back on course.

  2 comments for “course correction

  1. Sarah
    August 2, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Not the response I was thinking would come either. So good, friend. What a wise man you dad is. ☺ Also. This is an adorable picture of you. xo

  2. Will Porter
    September 14, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Curiously I came across this because I did a search on “humility” and “course correction”.

    I am involved in a church and a situation has arisen in something I lead that has caused me to reflect on humility. Your words have helped.

    I wanted to share some of my own thoughts that come to mind having read this.

    I was asking myself how do I get off course?

    Blind Spots. Quite simply, I miss things and it’s not until I look up or hit some obstacle that I realise I have gone off course. There may then be some further action needed to fix the damage.

    Steering well. Having realised I have gone off course I have to admit that the way I steer the boat (simply meaning my own life) needs correcting or adjusting. It could be that I simply didn’t see something or that I mis-read it – do I listen to the wrong voices at times or simply misunderstand or mis-judge?

    Accepting mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes. To get on with course correction I can’t spend time berating myself for getting it wrong. I need to forgive myself (which I personally do through prayer and accepting God’s forgiveness) and I need to keep looking up and out on a regular basis reassessing previous judgement – making correction. I may also need to ask others for forgiveness if they are hurt (or wronged) – whether or not knowingly done.

    Experience. Of course, the more you steer a boat the better you get. The more challenges you face the better you get at both dealing with those challenges and (maybe) steering clear if needed by recognising the signs from the sea, sky and wind.

    Sooner rather than later. Quite simply the longer you leave it the more off course you get.

    A lot of metaphor! Your words have helped me.

    Thanks

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