Sin will shipwreck you
Friday, January 13th, didn’t turn out to be a very lucky day for the skipper of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, nor its 3,200 passengers and crew numbering more than 1,000. Captain Francesco Schettino intentionally steered his ship off-course to show off, so to speak, to some people on the island of Giglio, Italy.
As the ship approached the island, it hit a reef, gouging a huge gash into the aft port side of the ship’s hull resulting in shipwreck and partial sinking. Lack of investigating the seriousness of the accident, the captain reported the incident as a “minor inconvenience” after the lights went out and did not issue the “abandon ship” order until one hour into the disaster.
Then, it seems, the captain was one of the first people off the ship. According to an article published on MailOnline.com by Rebecca Evans, Paul Harris, and Nick Pisa, Schettino made his bizarre excuse for leaving the ship during a three-hour court hearing in the mainland town of Grosseto before his release.
He told investigating magistrate Valeria Montesarchio: “The passengers were rushing all over the decks trying to scramble into the lifeboats. I didn’t even have a life jacket because I had given it to one of the passengers -- I was trying to get them into the lifeboats in an orderly fashion. All of a sudden the boat listed between 60 and 70 degrees. I tripped and ended up in one of the lifeboats. That’s why I was in there.” Schettino’s behavior has already been called into question after dramatic audio tapes revealed how a furious harbor official had ordered him back onto the bridge to oversee the rescue, after he was shocked to learn he had already left the Concordia despite dozens of passengers still needing help.
Despite freeing the captain (now under house arrest), Judge Montesarchio wrote that he made no attempt to return to his ship and described his actions as “inept, negligent, and imprudent.”
A former captain who sailed with him claimed he handled ships “like a Ferrari driver.” Martino Pellegrino said: “I’ve always had my reservations about Schettino. He was too exuberant, a daredevil. More than once I had to put him in his place.” This author concludes, left to our own devices, we will trip and fall every time.
An atheist asked a Christian lady if she believed the Bible was true. She said she did. “Then,” said the atheist, “tell me how a whale swallowed Jonah, as a whale’s stomach is no bigger than a man’s head.”
The lady said she didn’t know exactly, “The Bible says it was a big fish prepared by God, but when I get to heaven I’ll get all my questions answered.” The atheist smugly asked, “What if you can’t find Jonah when you get to heaven?” The lady answered, “Then I guess you can ask him about the fish yourself.”
(Hebrews 12) “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). The captain of the Costa Concordia was not cruising in approved shipping lanes at the time of his accident. His excuse was the reef was not on the charts. The fact is it didn’t have to be for a ship the size of the Concordia because it didn’t belong that close to the island in the first place.
Sin is the same way. Sin will take you where you never intended to go; keep you there longer than you ever intended to stay; and make you do things you never intended to do. When we deviate from the course God has laid out for us to follow, we’re headed for shipwreck. “I didn’t know” is always our first defense. We don’t know because we don’t study God’s Word. Knowing the way is one thing; obeying the way is a must.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His e-mail is email@example.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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