I’ve been awfully serious lately. Today I wanted to post something a bit funny. But I also wanted to post a cool lighthouse photo. I didn’t take the photo; it actually was pre-loaded in the computer I purchased after my other one crashed a couple of weeks ago. The little story I am posting is an urban legend~ but it regularly circulates around the internet.. But of course, I am going to take it as an allegory, too. So after the allegory~~i will give you a short allegory, ok? First the cool lighthouse photo:
Then the story that is amusing~an urban legend:
An email forward that actually makes you laugh! Well, the first time you receive it. The next fifty times the only interesting parts about it is to see which details have been changed. Its a classic battle between brute force and reality, a David vs. Goliath story set at sea. Of course, its a made up story that certainly never happened as told, but is easily believable if you are not familiar with how the Navy operates or simple things such as GPS. This is one of those military themed stories that make the rounds mostly by non-military readers and it has successfully become an urban legend. [it says it is an Actual transcript, but it isn’t].
ACTUAL transcript of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. This radio conversation was released by the Chief of Naval Operations on 10-10-95.
Americans: “Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.”
Canadians: “Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.”
Americans: “This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.”
Canadians: “No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.”
Americans: “THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH. THAT’S ONE-FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.”
Canadians: “This is a lighthouse. Your call.”
No one knows for sure who started this one, but it is certainly older than the internet itself. A very early version of the tale even pre-dates radio communications between ships and has a CO of tramp steamer in England having virtually the same conversation with a lighthouse worker through thick fog. The modern rendition of the story comes from a 1987 publication of the USNI’s Proceedings, which was picked up by the wildly successful book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in Stephen Covey’s 1989 version
Allegory? Oh you know me! I seem to come up with them regularly! here it is: sometimes we can fall into the trap of throwing our weight around and expect the world, or at least those near and dear to us, to change and bow to our wishes. BUT we need to be sure that we aren’t dealing with a lighthouse, right? To communicate with each other, and with God—we need to have a deep understanding of who we are and what we are dealing with! I hope today that I can listen with my heart and ears to God and my loved ones….REALLY listen…not stomp my foot and demand that THEY listen. Today I also pray for paths made straight so that I can see the way to go. Bless your day~i wish you a happy Monday.