The "O" Factor
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity [sin] of us all."1
In his book, The Renewal Factor, Robert Waterman writes: "During the investigation that followed the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, an engineer at Morton Thiokol testified that he advised his superiors that weather conditions at Cape Kennedy were too cold to guarantee the safety of the space craft's O-ring sealants. He urged them to delay the launch. Management pressed for more explanation: How cold was too cold—forty degrees? Thirty-seven degrees? Could they launch at forty-one degrees? The engineer resisted pinning down an exact temperature that was dangerous. He didn't have the facts to be that precise. All he could tell his superiors was that the weather predicted for launching time was 'away from goodness.'"2
Sad to say, his warning went unheeded.
In such a day as this, especially here in the United States, with the questionable practices of corporations such as Enron, WorldCom, Xerox, Tyco, Arthur Andersen, and some church leaders, we cannot help but state emphatically how we have strayed far away from goodness—and the whole nation is suffering the consequences. People have lost their life savings and retirement funds—confidence in the stock market has suffered greatly—and political parties are blaming the opposition party for the great debacle when the bottom line issue is a moral crisis of leadership. And that may apply as much to some politicians as it does to some greedy corporate leaders!
Indeed, we have strayed far from goodness and replaced it with greed and a moral crisis.
As Christians, let us heed the word of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, "I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these [principles] and so have shipwrecked their faith."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how true is Your word, 'All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way.' But thank You that You gave Your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and become our Savior. Grant that our nation, which has strayed far from goodness—and from You—will confess and repent of our sins and turn to You—the only hope of our salvation. And let Your work begin in me. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Isaiah 53:6 (KJV).
2. Robert H. Waterman, Jr., The Renewal Factor (New York: Bantam Books, 1987), p. 50.
3. 1 Timothy 1:19 (NIV).