The story of the Captain and a Light House

The story of the Captain and a Light House


A battleship had been at sea on its routine manoeuvres under heavy weathers for days. The captain, who was worried about the deteriorating weather conditions, stayed on the bridge to keep an eye on all activities.

One night, the lookout on the bridge suddenly shouted, “Captain! A light, bearing on the starboard bow.”

“Is it stationary or moving astern?” the captain asked.

The lookout replied that it was stationary. This meant the battleship was on a dangerous collision course with the other ship. The captain immediately ordered his signalman to signal to the ship: “We are on a collision course. I advise you to change course 20 degrees east.”

Back came a response from the other ship: “You change course 20 degrees west.”

Agitated by the arrogance of the response, the captain asked his signalman to shoot out another message: “I am a captain, you change course 20 degrees east.”

Back came the second response: “I am a second class seaman, you had still better change course 20 degrees west.”

The captain was furious this time! He shouted to the signalman to send back a final message: “I am a battlefield. Change course 20 degrees east right now!:

Back came the flashing response: “I am a lighthouse.”

The captain duly changed course.


This story gives us a perfect example that there are things in life that we cannot control or change.

You can be the captain who wishes to control everything and asks others to adjust for them then realizing that you don’t have option but to change yourself.

From the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the lighthouse represents laws or principles that cannot be changed easily as one people wish. It can be a firm foundation of oneself that depends on each person on how they value their own principles. But just like the lighthouse in the story, it stand their ground and never did change itself as other people commanded them.

Jesus, as He teaches us all the parables gives us the reminder that we have to invest on our own principles that we can hold firm. It can be about judging other people, helping the needy, forgiving and asking for forgiveness and a lot more. It is same also with how Jesus fight temptation, that because He stands firm with His principles, He won the fight with the demon.

Now learning these things, what are your principles in life now? Or what principles you would like to have so that in times of trial, you can stand your ground and know that you cannot be shaken or be tempted?

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