Have you ever caught yourself going the wrong way? I did it this morning. I headed to the office and I went the wrong way. Now, the route I took is still a way to get there, but it is not way that I want to go. I live about 35 miles away from work and the straightest shot for me is to take I-35 and head north. It is a familiar route because it is one that I started taking almost 25 years ago. A few years back I decided that there were just too many accidents and delays on I-35. Too many times I found myself just sitting in traffic and I decided to start taking a different route and I began driving in on Mopac. Though Mopac is not without its challenges, overall I have encounter fewer traffic jams, fewer delays and my commute is less frustrating and far more enjoyable.
Every now and then I do what I did this morning. I will accidentally get stuck in “auto pilot” mode and revert back to my old route and before I know it, there I am stuck like Chuck on I-35. Such a driving error reminds me how easy it can be for people to take wrong turns in life. There can be routes we want to take and routes we want to avoid and yet before we know it, we end up heading the wrong way.
If we find ourselves in such a predicament we should pray for strength and wisdom to do better as we move on down the road. We can take also comfort from God’s word that we are not alone in these challenges. Paul writes about his similar struggles in Romans chapter 7. Paul says there are things he wants to do that he doesn’t do and things he doesn’t want to do that he finds himself doing. He talks about the struggle between our flesh and our spirit. But then he goes on to praise the Lord for setting us free from the sin that reigns in our flesh and giving us the power to take the right path, to do what’s right and to do the will of God.
Even though we are in Christ and are new creations (2 Cor 5:17) we can slip back to old ways from time to time. Those ways aren’t just related to how we drive but how we live, how we cope, how we interact with others and how we handle trials and tribulations. Sometimes we all take wrong turns and head a direction we did not mean to take or do something we wish we had not done. That is just one of the reasons I am glad we serve a God of mercy and grace. The Bible says in Psalm 103: 14 “He knows our frame, He is mindful that we are only dust.” This does not mean we have license or liberty to sin, backslide or behave badly. Not at all, but it does mean we have a Lord who understands our weaknesses and our flaws. It is because of our weaknesses, flaws and sins that He went to the cross. Yes, He is mindful of our frame and He knows that we are only dust. He knows how easily we can take wrong turns but He still loves us and stands ready to place us back on the right path. Have you let Him place you on the right path today? He will, if you let Him. Until next time, stay strong in the faith.