The following story runs the circuit of bulletins and sermon illustrations. The story goes this way:
Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid collision.
Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH–I SAY AGAIN, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH–OR
COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
According to Truth or Fiction, this story is not true.
However this parable makes a couple of valid points:
- No matter how important you think you are, you must remain humble.
- Even if you think you are right, be open to truth.
What are other lessons from this modern parable?
Postscript: Another lesson that comes to mind has little to do with the story and mostly to do with rumors and gossip. Those of us who write, teach, and preach need to be very careful that we do not spread lies and misinformation. I see many Christians and even Christian leaders posting quotes, “posters,” and other similar items on Facebook (and other social media) that are misleading in nature if not all out false. We need to be very careful about our posting. I almost trusted someone else who shared today’s parable in a book. They reported it to be a true event. I decided to make sure before I posted. That is when I found the Truth or Fiction article.