“Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence”
The astronauts on Apollo 13 were in serious trouble. Their craft was profoundly wounded by an explosion and hurtling through space at 25,000 miles per hour. They were going to miss returning to earth by 40,000 miles, sailing off forever into the void of space. Their only hope of survival was a precise and extremely difficult mid-course correction.
Amazingly, by working together with Flight Director Eugene Kranz and his team of experts at mission control, they managed that course correction with stunning precision, saving their lives. Kranz later said, “The principal characteristic of a flight director is to be a good listener. To be right is first to listen, then to decide.”
As we hurtle through life, we too sometimes need a mid-course correction. Our “navigation” is sometimes faulty. We experience a collision of circumstances and find ourselves going in the wrong direction. To avoid disaster, we must change direction back to God’s path. Making those changes well requires listening: to God, to His Spirit within us, to wise friends and counselors.
This proverb tells us that we ignore correction at our peril, but when we accept it, even if it’s painful to hear, we gain wisdom to make the right choices. Accuracy is important, and so is timing. We must make the right decision at the right time.
The principal characteristic of a disciple of Jesus is to be a good listener. Often, the key to living successfully is to listen well, to accept reproof, and to change direction when needed. Are you listening?
God, I want to listen, to hear, and to live in the right direction. Speak to me in any way You choose to help me do anything You ask. Amen.
Is there someone, or perhaps God, speaking into your life, and calling for you to change direction in some way? Stop and listen. Gain wisdom. Correct your course.
If hearing God’s voice feels confusing, read Dr. Saffold’s article, Recognizing the Voice of God.