As I traveled a well-known route to my friend’s home, I was confident I would make it there in plenty of time to accompany her to an appointment.
The roads were clear on this bright summer day, and traffic was moving smoothly. I would arrive at the destination ahead of time. Just as I was signaling to turn onto the road that led to her home, a sign appeared on the side of the road: “ROAD CLOSED.” In less than twenty feet, two large “ROAD CLOSED” barricades were blocking all but a narrow part of the road. Cars that had tried to go through the barricade were awkwardly turning around and trying to merge onto a thoroughly blocked, bottlenecked detour route.
I quickly turned in the opposite direction from the barricades and escaped the bottleneck, continuing to a re-routed road. After considerable guidance from my friend, who knew all the back roads to her home, I finally arrived there in time to make it to the appointment with her. The original route I'd used so many times before--we'll call it my way--would have worked better than the time-consuming, twisty, winding, hilly detour I was forced to use. My way was the better way; I just knew it. It had never failed me before, and I’d driven it many times. But it was physically impossible to do things my way.
Later that night, as I left my friend’s home, I traveled down a familiar two-lane highway I’d driven on for many years. I had even lived a block off it once in my life. The pitch-black darkness of night did not concern me, for I was confident I would make it home safely using this route. My thoughts were focused on a radio program I was intently listening to, and I did not notice a tiny sign that said “ROAD CLOSED” …again! Suddenly, within twenty feet of the sign, “ROAD CLOSED” barricades completely stopped me in my tracks, and there, in the blackness of the night, without a soul around, I was forced to maneuver my car with a three-point (okay, ten-point) turnaround, and reverse direction. Wow. I didn’t see that coming!
For the second time that day, I had to re-think my route and find an alternate way home. The comfortable, old, familiar way—my way—was not an option. My way was the better way; I just knew it. It had never failed me before, and I’d driven it many times. But, it was physically impossible to do things my way.
There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12 AMP). Our old, familiar ways can take us down the wrong path, to a place where our spirit cannot be nourished, where our carnal nature can flourish instead. Left to our own ways, we can self-destruct.
The Lord says this in Isaiah 55:9, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." He has a better, higher way for just about everything! God’s thought patterns are different than ours. I’m trying to align mine more and more with His, are you? Let’s watch for “ROAD CLOSED” signs the Lord might be posting…in friendships, in jobs, and IN day-to-day decisions.
A prayer today: Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul (Psalm 143:8 ESV). The Message version expresses it like this: If You wake me each morning with the sound of Your loving voice, I'll go to sleep each night trusting in You. Point out the road I must travel; I'm all ears, all eyes before You (Psalm 143:8 MSG). Amen!
© 2023, Chris Werre