I was a young pastor serving my first larger congregation. Vacation time finally arrived about the same time as the allergies. As usual, I started the trip in the driver's seat with Linda on my right and the children asleep in the back seat as we headed east. Since some of the interstate system was not yet complete we dropped down to a two lane blacktop after getting through the maze of St Louis. I thought I knew which road we needed to be on. I thought we were on it. But I discovered about two hours later that no matter how sincere one's intentions it is possible to be sincerely wrong. My first clue was when I saw the welcoming sign announcing we were entering a town we were not supposed to be anywhere near. In fact, my hours of poring over the atlas in the weeks prior to our departure let me know immediately...I am lost!
In my stubborn naïveté I might have continued forging ahead into the night getting farther and farther away from the correct pathway. But I was suddenly in possession of crucial information; I was headed the wrong way. And no matter how sincere and earnest my efforts, a change of direction was the only thing that would affect my destination. So...after admitting to a man's worst nightmare...being lost...I did the only smart thing, I turned the wheel over to Linda! Remember the allergies? Probably not my wisest choice, tanking up on allergy meds and trying to drive all night. Hey, nobody ever said pastors don't do unwise things sometimes! Well, I did stay awake long enough to help get Linda on the right road. And to this day, I have no clue how I wound up on the wrong road. After many more hours driving the right direction on the right road, we got to the right place where loved ones and friends were waiting. What a vacation!!
Life is a lot like that less-than-clever start to a badly needed family get away. One may not realize he is headed the wrong way and he may never understand HOW he got on the wrong road. But God begins to reveal the sad truth, it is not Heaven that awaits at the end of this particular road. The signs are as unmistakeable as the sign welcoming us to that city in Illinois that night. The traveler will get somewhere on the wrong road. But he absolutely cannot get to the right destination by traveling the wrong road! "There is no other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Ask Jesus now to save you. If you ask, He will forgive all the wrong you have done and get you onto the road that DOES lead to everlasting life.
I'll meet you at the altar of prayer...
Pastor Richard Orrell