Skip to main content

Wrong Way Corrigan

By July 29, 2013August 30th, 2022Lost in Translation

I should say at the top of this post that I started out the wrong way with this post. Last Saturday evening, I had an idea and entered it into my iPad but then apparently published the title (Wrong Way Harry) by accident – without writing the post. Since then, I have found out that I really wanted to write about Douglas Corrigan, whose first name wasn’t Harry after all. So, I went the wrong way – and to top it off, I didn’t write the post until this evening.

So, here’s the big idea. History is filled with people who went the wrong way. One of the most famous is Douglas Corrigan, one of the people who actually worked on the Spirit of St. Louis for Charles Lindbergh. Some time later, he flew from the west coast to New York with the intention of crossing the Atlantic on a flight to Ireland. His plane was not deemed airworthy and his applications were repeatedly denied. Finally, having returned to California and then flying back to the east coast, he basically indicated that he would be returning once again to California. However, early the next morning, he took off toward the east and supposedly headed out the “wrong way” – landing in Ireland more than 28 hours and 13 minutes later.

Corrigan claimed that he made an error in navigation and ended up in Ireland by mistake. Nobody really believed him – he said that he didn’t discover the error until he had flown more than 26 hours. But of course, he wasn’t over land and he had a leaky tank that caused fuel to slosh around the cockpit; Corrigan had to puncture a hole in the floor to prevent from being overcome by the fumes. It is difficult to believe that he would have continued if he had been able to land, but instead, he climbed to a higher altitude to converse fuel and cut down on the flight time.

The bottom line is that Corrigan faced a two week suspension and never publicly admitted his real destination as Ireland. Lindbergh never acknowledged Corrigan’s achievement, which was a source of dismay for the rest of Corrigan’s life. However you want to slice it, Corrigan became known as “wrong way” and eventually endorsed products including a watch that ran backwards. A movie was made about his flight and his notoriety became a source of discussion and debate for many years.

It occurs to me that many of us go the wrong way when it comes to God. The Bible is full of examples of people who also made the decision to go the wrong way – and I don’t mean by accident. They were headed in one direction and then, for some reason, made the call to head in the wrong direction. Whether it was Abraham who trusted God and then decided to not trust God – or Jonah who ran from God rather than complete the assignment he had been given, we have many examples of folks who had momentary failures.

The verse tonight is from 2 Pet. 2:21,”It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” In other words, those of us who know the Lord and turn away, or fail to be drawn closer to Him, are worse than those who have never known God in the first place. Because we have knowingly made a decision to go the wrong way. My encouragement this evening is to affirm that God wants all of us to go the right way – and that means toward Him. My prayer is that you won’t be distracted or enticed to make bad decisions when it concerns your walk with the Lord. You know the way that you are expected to go and I pray that you will stay the course. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

Leave a Reply