“You don’t want to take a wrong turn…”

A friend of mine asked me after church where I was going to me riding my bicycle that afternoon.  After I told him where I was heading he said, “You don’t want to take a wrong turn.”  The problem with his statement is that I was already concerned about riding out there since I had never been there before and that I was going alone.

Matthew 6:25 is a verse of the Bible referenced in today’s devotional by Oswald Chambers.  As I read this today I was challenged by the words of Jesus, “…do not worry about your life…”  So often, I get out there in life and worry about this, that, and the other thing.  Once I sink into my worries I forget the promise of Jesus that is found just a few verses later, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added to you.”  (Matthew 6:33).  What do you do when you can’t seem to get beyond the “worry”?

I realize when I worry there is this disconnect in the faith-walk I desire to live.  When worry sets in so do the feelings of desperation.  I got a small glimpse of this in the events that transpired while I was on a 48 mile bicycle ride yesterday.  It was a route I have never ridden, in a part of the county I am not familiar with, and I was out by myself.  Just over 2 hours into the ride the battery on the phone died.  I took a wrong turn about a mile or so later.  Another couple of miles later I found myself at a crossroad without any signs letting me know what the names of the roads were. (I could have stopped the moment I realized I was heading in the wrong direction but I could see a nice little downhill ride that was too tempting to pass up). How often do we give in to what feels good at the moment to be left with a problem to deal with at the end of the good feeling?

At the crossroad, I sat there wondering what I should do…  I also recalled those words, “You don’t want to take a wrong turn.”  I could go back (remember it was a good downhill… which is now a good uphill) or try to head off in a direction that I might be the way to go.  All I could see was the uphill climb behind me, the crossroad, trees, and a occassional car that passed by.  I had this un-nerving feeling that I was lost… 40 miles into my ride.  After several minutes I decided to go through the intersection.  As I crossed the road, I saw a house back over my left shoulder and someone walking in the front yard.  I rode over and asked for directions back to the Budweiser Plant where I had parked my car.

With posted “No Trespassing” signs all around their yard the folks that lived there gave me directions.  Once I got to the end of the road I realized I had been on this road before (many years ago)… I relaxed because I knew where I was.  I was now about 3 miles from where I had parked my car.

I have thought about this experience and how much this relates in so many ways to life.  I could have sat there and worried about my situation and waited for the sun to set.  Instead of sitting there I moved and kept watch for something that I might recognize.  The lesson here is to not surrender to our worries but rather to Jesus and seek first His Kingdom and righteousness!  When we seek Him first he will provide the answers and the direction we need to get to where He wants us to go.  We should never give up on the dreams he has for us and always be watching for the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives… no matter how tempting the downhill may be.

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