Ever been driving and suddenly realized you didn’t know where you were?
You thought you were going in the right direction. The music was cranked; you were having fun. Now nothing looks familiar. No landmarks, no streets you know.
It happens…. People get lost.
I’ve had some truly lost moments of my own creation.
- We were driving to Florida. I put the address into the GPS on what I thought was Florida State Road A1A and we set off to St. Augustine Beach. That road is nearly 330 miles long. I should have entered St. Johns County Road A1A, a roughly 3-mile spur route of SR A1A. My mistake added more than an hour to an already long trip.
- I drove to dinner in Fayetteville, again blithely relying on the GPS to direct me. It took me to the middle of an apartment building parking lot and announced “You have arrived!” The street address was right, sort of. Someone had built the apartment building in the middle of the street, cutting off access from one end to the other.
- On a soccer trip to Virginia we were trying to get back to our hotel after dinner one night. It seemed like the right way until the lights of the city began to recede, becoming a fading flicker in our rear-view mirror. Clearly, we were driving away from the city, into the darkness.
And these are just “lost” moments that happened while driving.
Thank God that we can never go so far in the wrong direction that we can’t make a correction. All we need to do is turn. My Garmin says: “Make a U-turn, when possible.”
The Bible is equally blunt when it comes to making spiritual turn-a-rounds.
God tells Ezekiel: “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?‘
Turning begins with admitting we are lost.
Everyone in a car may know they’re lost, but the driver must agree and make a decision to turn the wheel. As we sit in the driver’s seats of our lives, however, we resist making U-turns even when we know we’ve lost our way. And we all have at one time or another.
Yet, pride keeps us going in the wrong direction. If anyone tries to correct us, we:
- Get defensive. How dare anyone question my judgment, my sense of direction, my preferences?
- Question motives. Why are they trying to control me? How do they know the way? Even if they are more familiar with the road ahead, things could have changed.
- Listen politely. And just go harder in the wrong direction convinced that if we just keep going, it’ll be all right.
It won’t be. Pride leads somewhere, but nowhere you really want to go.
Honest to God now: are you on a road in life that just doesn’t look or feel like where you ought to be? Accept the advice of someone who has been there: Stop wasting time and making excuses. Swallow your pride. Make the turn. You can still get home before dark.