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Wrong Turns

When I was in high school, my friends and I ventured downtown for a concert one Friday night.

Since I’d gotten my license only a few months earlier, the half hour drive felt to me like a road trip, full of adventure and the sweet sense of freedom. The sound of the radio was blaring in my speakers as we sped down the highway.

I was in the middle of belting out a solo when I realized that I had missed the last exit into the city.

The next exit took us across state lines and into one of the most dangerous neighborhoods not just in the city, but in the country. We ended up turning around in the parking lot of a strip club as we searched desperately for road signs that would get us back on course (this, sadly, was pre-smartphones and pre-GPS systems).

That was nearly two decades ago, but I still remember the sick feeling in my stomach like it was yesterday.

If I’m being honest, that’s not the only time I’ve gotten off track and ended up somewhere I didn’t want to be. More often than I’d like to admit, I’ve willfully ignored the directions laid out in God’s Word. I’ve chosen to go my own way, rather than to follow Him obediently. I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by lesser things. I’ve rejected the very guidance designed to protect and keep me.

Yet God still calls me back.

He provides the way out. He invites me to get back on track – to submit to His direction and guidance. He reminds me that His instructions are not to ruin my joy but to expand it.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that, “We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

If you’ve taken a wrong turn – if you’ve gotten off track and ended up where you never intended to go – then take heart.

No matter how far of course we stray, there is always a way back.

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