We all have made a wrong turn at some point. Some have led us to dead-ends and U-turns. Others have taken us along beautiful, back-roads patiently waiting to be discovered. A few have escorted us into foreign places. Thank God that He always knows our GPS location and He can get us to our destination eventually; however, sometimes the wait for the re-routed next step delays us and is a perfecting work on our patience.
I have made multiple embarrassing and comical wrong turns of the sorts mentioned that include (but are not limited to) wrong way turns onto one-way streets in a crowded big city, entering an underground garage not designated for my size vehicle nor for public use with spike strips not permitting me to back out of the blunder. This mistake required multiple people to strategize the effort to rescue me and my vehicle from the situation (not from embarrassment, because that was a lost cause). Then there was the time I missed the last exit in America on the freeway, forcing me and my co-worker to actually cross the border into Mexico in error. All of these missteps impacted other people and not just me. Let’s just say that those who REALLY know me, understand that it is in everyone’s best interest if I am simply not placed in the position of navigator, unless you are willing to discover a very long, yet gorgeous detour like the one I mistakenly found in Oregon. At times, the detours become the highlight of a journey if we are to be so blessed. All alternative courses are not bad, but when we see others clearly going against the flow of God’s way in their life choices, we often respond quickly to the urge to don the orange reflector vest and become a flagman for them. My underground garage episode did involve reflective vests and flagmen as a part of the mastermind strategic plan to maneuver equipment and multiple vehicles around. I wonder if I am still talked about around the water cooler in that place or maybe I am the face behind the reason for updated emergency procedures.
But the reality is…there must always be a lead person overseeing the whole plan for all the helper people to listen to and receive instruction from. Otherwise, the chaos is never brought back to order, but just further expounds the predicament. Therefore, before we grab our flag and vest, we must ask God if we are an informed one He chooses to use to help guide the way out. It could be that self-appointed, knee-jerk flagmen may not understand all the aspects and hindrances of the dilemma and expect a quick and simple back-up or U-turn maneuver of repentance. However, in the case of spike strips placed by the designer of the underground pit, we must resolve to help navigate them through the maze toward a different exit altogether in order to avoid undue damage to the “vehicle”.
Insurance companies often will refuse the direct fix of a slab leak because of the cost associated with the repairs needed afterward if the leak is in a tough spot requiring extensive demo work. Instead, the only solution offered by the insurance adjuster is to re-route the pipes. They just cap it off and change the flow. In the same way, sometimes God’s escape route plan for us is the long way for purposes not yet seen.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ ” Isaiah 30:21
Let’s not be too quick to walk away in disdain when we do not see the most obvious solution being entertained immediately, therefore assuming that the person of offense is far away from God and unrepentant. Think of how we check our side mirror before safely making a lane change or a U-turn. As is imprinted on those mirrors, the objects in our mirror are closer than they appear. In the same way, the way we perceive the distance of a person from the proximity of God and repentance can be deceiving. God knows the obstacles and how fast they are approaching (that can delay the lane change and He also knows how close the heart is to Him and the desires of that heart). We must all stand guard knowing that a wrong turn can happen to any one of us that might lead to an unusual re-calibration. No matter what, God makes the journey to our destination an adventure and grace always leads the way home. God is faithful to show us the way back one way or another. We must stay connected, trust and wait.
Waiting on God,