In the July 15, 2018, Kansas City Star, Darryl Levings tells the story of William Thomas, who built a sail wagon in 1853. It was 25 feet long with wheels 12 feet in diameter. It sported a large sail, complete with a “handler” high above. He proposed to use this vehicle to transport goods over the Santa Fe Trail and to find Spanish silver.
Thomas is to be congratulated for being among the earliest pioneers of wind power. The wind, however, did not cooperate; and suddenly the craft was being pushed violently backward. The “ship” was wrecked, as was Thomas’s Overland Navigation Company.
Sometime later, a smaller version was built. It was hauled to Shawnee, Kan., wheels greased with bison tallow, and loaded with provisions. The tired entrepreneurs retired to Westport to spend the night. In their jubilation, they forgot to lower the sail. When they returned, the ship had blown away — never to be found.
A scripture came to mind as I read that story. The Apostle Paul advised the Ephesians not to be “blown about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). False principles and deceit are easily covered up by cunning cleverness.
Years ago, I worked on a construction crew with many co-laborers. We gathered under the shade of a lean-to for lunch. Knowing I was a preacher, the discussions sometimes turned “theological.” I was amazed at what some of these men believed. Most believed you got to heaven by being good; but none thought they were good enough to make it.
There was one guy in the bunch who liked to tell about going to church with his wife. The preacher preached on tithing, and my friend wasn’t going to let any (expletive deleted) preacher tell him what to give, saying, “I give what I want to.” Then, in the same breath, he added he didn’t go to church anymore.
When he told that story for the third time, I asked, “If you don’t attend church, how can you give what you want to?” It got a good laugh, but I’m certain it didn’t change anything.
From the beginning of time, people have been searching for truth. Often people believe what is cunning or convenient rather than what is true. Joining the Apostle Paul, I advise, don’t be blown about by every wind of doctrine. You might wake up and discover your ship has blown away.
Wade Paris writes a weekly syndicated column, “The Shepherd Calls.”