One Wrong Turn

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I have a pretty long commute to work and since it is over an hour it is easy to get a bit brain numb and drive without thinking that much about where I am going much as long as I am on a familiar road.

It normally doesn’t cause any problems for me to think of other things while driving because I have driven on the same roads so many times I don’t have to try to remember exit numbers on signs or the name of roads. So on the way home when I was listening to the radio close to my last highway exit I didn’t feel the need to be as alert as normally did but that was a mistake.

I didn’t think I could make a mistake since I was almost at my destination and I didn’t feel any urgency to get in the inner lane in advance in order to avoid missing my turn because I knew where it would be and still felt I had time because I drove down that road so many times before without problems. But when I did get near my exit there was a car next to me so I couldn’t turn over as soon as I wanted and someone was behind me so it was hard to stop. So instead of turning off where I should have I ended up driving for a while before I found another exit with the help of my GPS.

It wasn’t that easy to get home though because while I did find another exit after some time there was a train crossing so I had to wait, and wait I did. I never saw the front of that train because it was already crossing when I got there but after a while it started to feel like I would never see the end. There were some trees near the tracks so I couldn’t see how long the train was but whenever I got my hopes up that the last part of the train had come from behind the trees another part would soon follow. Finally, I saw the end of the train, after what felt like about 20 minutes of waiting the unthinkable happen. The train started to reverse back across the tracks.

I have never seen that happen before, and the person in the car behind me got frustrated and drove away but since I never missed my exit before I didn’t know of any other ways to get back beside the road I was directed to by the GPS so I decided to wait. Fortunately, at some put the train was separated in half so cars could finally drive across the train tracks without waiting much longer. And after I was finally able to go over the tracks blocking my exit I ended up driving through some rural backroads past some lamas in order to get back to the road I should have been on a long time ago to get home.

I tend to have a heavy foot when I drive and it is hard not to speed but that road was probably one of the few I have never been on where I really felt the speed limit was justified. It would have been really easy to crash on those sharp turns so I couldn’t hurry too much even if I wanted to but the country view made the drive nice enough to distract me from my frustration over the delays somewhat. I went to work early that day so I could get home early but by the time I got home I might as well have slept in because I got home about as late as I would have if I didn’t wake up extra early. But the drive wasn’t a complete waste as it gave me something important to think about.

Spiritually it is easy become so familiar with various outward practices of faith that our minds and hearts are no longer really in it. “And so the Lord says, ‘These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.’” Isaiah 29:13 We can feel so self-confident that we know the way well enough to get to heaven that we don’t pay close attention to the directions given in the Bible or even if we do look at the signs God gives us we don’t feel any urgency to act on the truth to ensure we are ready to follow God because we already know the way.

But we can be setting ourselves up to be lost while thinking we know where we are going-because we know the correct things-but fail to do them. But don’t fall into the pit of substituting a mere form of godliness from habit for a real relationship with God. We cannot afford to miss our turn spiritually, and have to say “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8:20. If we harden our hearts it becomes more difficult to make the turns in life that we need to and we often end up going farther way from God than we thought we would and while God would always be willing to direct us we can lose our willingness to turn back altogether.

Picture originally found here

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