A Change of Direction

At Oak Ridge High School I took driver’s education with Coach Driver.  On the road he made us change lanes by signaling, look in the mirrors, a quick look over your left shoulder, and then move smoothly into the other lane.  When he packed three or four students in the car there was a level of safety since he had a break in case we missed oncoming traffic. I cannot count the number of lane changes since I began driving and I may have forgotten to use my turn signal, but I have not forgotten looking over my shoulder so nothing is in my blind spot.  Recently I have seen three people making decisions in their lives which now affect their futures.  One was an outstanding, young athlete on the WVU football team involved or associated with an armed robbery in Morgantown.(At present he has not been arraigned.)  The next day he was dropped from the team and his scholarship was revoked.  The decisions he made now will affect him the rest of his life.  It does not mean he will not be successful, but the increase struggles, circumstances, and troubles will make life more difficult because of a quick decision.  The same goes for young people in the backs of cars becoming instant parents because of quick decisions.  Many go in wrong directions and need a new change. 

“Keep up your reputation, God; Forgive my bad life; It’s been a very bad life. My question: What are God-worshipers like? Your answer: Arrows aimed at God’s bull’s-eye.They settle down in a promising place; Their kids inherit a prosperous farm.” Psalm 25:11-13  The Message

All the bad choices in life can have a different direction if we follow Coach Driver’s instructions.  First, I must recognize the direction I have chosen is not one I wish to remain.  The Holy Spirit warned me but until I decided, all those warnings, like flashing lights in a construction zone, were disregarded as I raced through life paying no attention to the hazards.  When I came to God, I repented of my former direction knowing I needed to make a change.  The idea of repentence is “to change direction or turn around”  and means a new path than I one I was going.  Once I was following Vicki to her mother’s home place.  As we were driving in the backwoods of West Virginia for the first time we came to a road with a 90 degree left turn.  Like Coach Driver told me, I signaled left and followed her another six miles into the hollars of north central West Virginia to the town of Cedarville (population 25 including livestock).  She asked me why I turned on my signal and told her I was making a turn.  Her reply was, “You weren’t making a turn; you were just staying on the hard top.”  As I signaled to God I was ready to make the change, I had to look to make sure I was ready.  Jesus told us to determine the costs of following him and told the parables for our understanding.  In going to war with a smaller army or in the construction of a tower there is a cost associated in your next step. In driving, if you don’t look you may have a cost associated with an accident.  Finally, once you have looked and are certain you want to follow in the path of Jesus Christ, you can move with confidence into the new direction. 

There will be bumps in the road of Christianity but this does not mean it is not the right direction.  If you stayed in the other direction, that lane only leads to death and eternal punishement.  Like the character Christian in John Bunyon’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress,  someday I will arrive at the Celestial City. 

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