I understand the wisdom behind the expression to “stay the course,” but I also think there are times when the expression can prove disastrous. Of course, what is meant by staying the course is to keep on keeping on, or to keep trying until things work out the way they are supposed to.
Anyone who has tried to steer a sailboat can tell you that the shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but the quickest amount of time to get there isn’t always moving in a straight line. If our destination takes us into a headwind, then trying to move forward against the wind would be impossible until the wind were to change direction and blow directly behind us instead of against us.
In order for a sailor to get where they want to go, they often have to move left or right of their target, and make corrections along the way. If a sailor were to blindly look at his course without regard to the effects of the wind, he could easily miss his destination and might even run his ship aground. Instead of blind obedience to the law that says the shortest distance is a straight line, the sailor knows to consider all variables and to make course corrections as needed.
There are times when the seas become so fierce that the ship we are sailing in becomes beaten and battered to the point that our safety is at risk. When the ship is going down, it behooves us to know when to abandon the vessel.
Religions institutions — whether the mother organizations or the individual assemblies — are much like a ship traveling the spiritual seas. At times these religious ships run into serious storms that threaten to destroy the vessel. Each individual must determine if the storm will blow over or if the storm is serious enough to take them under. Often the answer depends on the individual and his or her needs.
Sometimes we abandon the religious ship for other reasons. We discover we are on the wrong vessel and it is actually headed in the wrong direction. We might discover the Captain is untrustworthy and does not care for the safety and comfort of his passengers. We may discover that the Captain has changed his mind about where the ship is supposed to go, and if we want to reach our destination then we must disembark and find passage on a different ship. Knowing when to stay the storm and when to abandon ship can help us have the best experience possible. After all, the journey can be just as enjoyable as the destination.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.