On September 1, 1983, Korean Airlines Flight 007 (KAL 007) was traveling from New York City to Seoul, Korea via Anchorage, Alaska. Shortly after takeoff from Anchorage, a mechanical failure caused KAL 007 to veer off course. Undetectable to the captain and crew, this minor deviation over the course of hundreds of miles led the airplane into Soviet airspace. They never picked up on the warning signs. The tragic consequence was that Russian aircraft gunned down the plane. All 269 people aboard were killed.
How many men have found themselves in similar situations? I’m not talking about navigating a plane from one country to another. But on the journey of life, many have diverted off course just a little bit and over time, found themselves in dangerous territory. Even more tragic, they fail to pick up on the warning signs and continue going astray—a compromise here, some justification there. It is too often the undetected dangers that lead to the biggest mistakes. If we want to avoid tragedy in our own lives, we need to stay the course. Here are 4 warning signs to be aware of so things don’t go tragically wrong.
Prematurely blowing off danger signals because they are seen as insignificant can reap devastating consequences. In ignorance, we think we have it covered. Perhaps we rely on a previous experience and since that seemed to have worked out, we continue on without further thought. Or, since we perceive to have other options to keep from getting into trouble, we brush off the one thing that will begin our derailment.
2. Lack of Discernment
Could it be you are oblivious to a potential disaster in your life and remain on cruise control day after day? Are you monitoring your course regularly? Following your moral compass? Take heed of your decisions and actions. Should you choose a particular direction, fully consider where it may lead.
3. No Accountability
We need strong accountability from other men in our lives—guys who see the warning signs even when we don’t and call us out on it. Be intentional about asking the men in your life to hold you accountable to your values, family, and decisions. Meet with them regularly. Even a weekly phone call or email can go a long way. And remember: Anything less than full transparency on our part leaves a door open for the diversion to continue.
4. Failure to Communicate Clearly
I can attest to a time in my life when I was in crisis mode and I did not let on to the severity of my state. It nearly cost me my life. How are you communicating to your loved ones? Do you shrug off the tough questions or give a meager answer? Change the conversation when uncomfortable topics arise? Some guys keep themselves really busy and ignore the impending disaster altogether. There will be moments in our lives when we must drop all pride and simply scream, “HELP!”
If you find yourself veering off course, there’s still time to readjust and get back on track. And let this serve as a reminder to all of us on avoiding disaster altogether: Stay the course. Obey the warning signs. Your family is counting on you to do so.
Sound off: What are you doing to keep yourself on course?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How do we know if something is right or wrong?”