by Tom Wacaster
February 13th I will board a Northwest/KLM flight bound for Amsterdam, and then on to Bombay, India. Having some experience in flying, I am aware that a pre-planned route is essential to reaching a desired destination. But I am also aware that when flying it is necessary to make small corrections in one's heading all along the route from point A to point B. This is because the plane is affected by wind drift. Once a course has been plotted, a pilot realizes that flying a plane is not like driving a car. An automobile contacts the road and is not affected by wind drift as is an airplane. Consequently, a pilot knows that small adjustments are necessary along the route to his final destination. That Boeing 747 in which I will be flying is equipped with modern computers and technology that will automatically make those small but necessary corrections. But whether made by machines or man, those adjustments and corrections along the path will result in reaching the planned point of arrival. Getting from where you are to where you want to be cannot be achieved by hit-and-miss guess work. But that is the way some folks approach their religion. They rely on feelings, better-felt-than-told experiences, rather than carefully plotting their course. Such an approach will no sooner get them to heaven than a pilot who relies on his feelings to get him to his destination.
The key word here is "correction." This is an interesting word in that it describes precisely the role that the word of God plays in our journey through life. Along the trip of life, slight adjustments are made from time to time so as to keep us on course. A good working knowledge of the Bible and the application of its truths to our life, will adjust our course when we start to drift. It keeps affecting the way we think, the way we draw conclusions, and the way we make our daily life decisions. The key is that we are to lay the word of God up in our heart so that those corrections are automatic. This is why the Psalmist acknowledged, "Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee" (Psa 119:11).
If a pilot fails to make the necessary corrections in the early stages of his journey, he will find that the small error will multiply in proportion to the distance he flies. The first few miles he may find that he is not far off course. But let him fly hundreds, or thousands of miles, and he will be so far off course that drastic measures would be needed to reach the destination, if he can reach it at all. Likewise, if we fail to make corrections immediately and concisely along the road of life, we will look up one day and wonder how in the world we got where we are. This is why the Hebrews author warned, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them" (Heb. 2:1). If we wait until we are so far off course to make the necessary correction we may find that getting back on course is difficult at best, and impossible at worst.
Apostasy is seldom something that occurs over night. It is the consequence of one's failure to make those small corrections along the way. Like the wise pilot, the child of God will make those course corrections along the pathway of life frequently and faithfully.