Course Correction

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Several days ago, a friend read something I had written. It was an allegory, and I thought what I had written was very clear. Funny thing was, she didn’t get it at all. In fact, she thought that what I had written had a completely different meaning than what I had intended. We visited, and after I assured her I wasn’t going to the dark side, she suggested that I insert the meaning of the allegory in the story.  I thought about what she had said, shared it with my husband and of course, she was right. I did need to explain what I was writing about. If someone I know and trust did not get it, how could I be assured that everyone reading it would also get it? I needed to make a course correction on that particular piece of work.

Sometimes, we can be a click off. You know, not a lot…just a little. It doesn’t seem like much but if not corrected, we can be way off further on down the line. Did you know that if you are only one degree off on your trajectory from earth to the moon, that by the time you should have reached the moon, you would be 4,169 miles off? You wouldn’t miss your expected destination by a little, you would miss it by a lot. 

It’s hard to listen to correction from someone, but many times, we need that objective voice to speak into our lives. I really appreciate my friend’s opinion on the piece, that’s for sure. What if 4,169 people read it and didn’t get it? I would be so sad that I had given people the wrong idea. 

What about you? Has someone spoken into your life and you are not listening? Are you balking at the thought of making a course correction? It’s not easy to consider another opinion on your work or the direction of your life, but we must do it if we want to stay on our expected trajectory. After all, we don’t want to miss what we are aiming for!

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6

43 thoughts on “Course Correction

  1. Not having an editor a few feet away is the thing I miss most about working in a newsroom. One set of eyes is rarely enough. But, in today’s writing world, that’s increasingly what we’ve got. 🙂

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  2. It is definitely difficult to hear people sometimes when you think all is well with your life, etc. But many times those on the outside looking in have a much better look than those on the inside. 🙂 It sounds like she gave you great advice.

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  3. Communication is an art, we can easily be misunderstood. We know what we mean, but does the one reading or listening know what we mean? It’s good that your friend told you, which helps us to communicate better. 🙂


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  4. Val this has so been on my heart. I was thinking I probably should go back and check some of my own work!! It’s so easy to just use the wrong word and many times people will read into something what they want to read! Sometimes that’s the Holy Spirit at work and sometimes the opposite! A well-formed Christian not only gives correction when called but both gives and receives with charity! I would much rather receive it than give it. Ouch. We are called to keep each other aligned, and they key to what you said was that it was someone you trusted. Well done.

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  5. Yes, I have made the mistake of not listening to someone. I just realized this after they had passed away. I needed a word of advice. I knew they would have known what to say to me, so I thought back to their words and realized…oh, I should have listened to this year’s ago. I will share this on my blog in the new year. Actually there are a couple of things in that post I never listened to. God is faithful, that’s for sure. He’ll get you to listen. It can take time, but He’s patient. 😊

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  6. They say that communication is the most difficult task we engage in. It isn’t always what we say but how others interpret it – through their filters of experience, emotion, and moral direction. Makes spoken communication hazardous. I once was excoriated for having said “good morning”. Seems that unbeknownst to me the person greeted had been in a traffic accident on their way to work. At one point I was informed by management that I needed to be more aware of the way I spoke to trainees. Of course they couldn’t give me any specific guidelines or examples of improper methods I may have used. Later it was revealed that it was an attempt to make me less effective so that I could be removed… So not all criticism is done out of kindness or in our best interests.

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