Or to a deserted island, like the fellow who paid a visit to Gilligan’s. Oh my. There goes Frank, again. Got any other metaphors for us?
Sure I do. In a similar vein, I once wrote about the perils of navigating without consulting the explorers who drew the map. Today, though, I’m thinking of a thought that Jesus might have had if the folks around him had any idea what a TACAN is. They didn’t, of course, and he didn’t want to blow their minds anymore than he already had, what with feeding thousands from practically nothing, giving sight to the blind, and raising folks from the dead.
Which is why he stuck with the metaphors that made sense during the time when he walked the earth, and talked about lights on stands, and oil burning lamps and such like. But the Truth stands the test of time, regardless of the metaphors or parables that the Word of God utilized at the time when he walked the earth. The underlying, and overriding, truths were both evident, and inconvenient to the status quo, then as they are now.
So what the heck is a TACAN? Simple. It’s a device the military uses to navigate that was developed long before GPS was available. Here’s a brief description from Wikipedia.
A tactical air navigation system, commonly referred to by the acronym TACAN, is a navigation system used by military aircraft. It provides the user with bearing and distance (slant-range) to a ground or ship-borne station. It is a more accurate version of the VOR/DME system that provides bearing and range information for civil aviation.
Of course this navigational notion I’m using as a metaphor makes no sense to those who think flying by the seat of their pants is just dandy. But after a near brush with death, or two, one tends to start understanding this little bit of aviator wisdom,
There are bold pilots, and there are old pilots, but there are no old, bold, pilots.
So learning how to fly, and how to navigate, are pretty important, you see. If you want to live, I mean.
Currently, being bold seems to get the lion share of the press these days. And bold pioneers seem to be sprouting up all over the place, TACAN’s, and the clear signals they put out, be damned.
Again, that’s where you, and faith, come in. Where are you tuning in to get your range and bearing information? If it isn’t the Church, you’re going to augur in.
Wait. Why not just the Bible? It’s like that apostle of common sense (G.K. Chesterton) said about a hundred short years ago,
There is no other case of one continuous intelligent institution that has been thinking about thinking for two thousand years. Its experience naturally covers nearly all experiences; and especially nearly all errors. The result is a map in which all the blind alleys and bad roads are clearly marked, all the ways that have been shown to be worthless by the best of all evidence: the evidence of those who have gone down them.
This teaching authority was conferred upon the Church by Jesus himself, which is sort of why it’s a big deal. And it’s why tuning in to the Church’s frequency was important in the early days of the Church, as the apostles Paul, John, Peter, and James make clear, as well as why it’s important right now. It’s like St. Peter said,
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Or you can listen to the disciples of euthanasia. Or to the disciples of same-sex “marriage.” Or to the disciples of sexual deviancy. Or to the disciples of women’s ordination. Or to the disciples of abortion. Or to the disciples of the nation-state. Or to the disciples of humanism. Or to the disciples of perpetual adolescence. And on, and on, and on.
Yeah, it’s enough to make your head spin. Especially once you consider that none of those disciples put the safety and well-being of your soul as their number one priority at all. They are all about the here, and the now, with no consideration that there actually is a hereafter.
Here, in a nutshell, is the message of the Church,