A couple of weeks ago when my husband and I were in Houston we saw a sad message on a digital sign on I-10. It read: “Elderly Katy couple missing.” The sign also described their car and posted a contact number.
Two days later, Wayne read a news story that they had been found in Florida. The married couple, both in their 70’s, had left a family gathering to drive about one mile to another family member’s home. They took one wrong turn – just one. Three days and 524 miles later a state trooper found them at a truck weigh station in Florida. (According to one report I read neither one suffers from dementia.)
Huh. If you never turn around just one wrong turn can take you a long way from where you are need to be. True in driving. Even more true in following Jesus.
All throughout Scripture, God calls His wayward people to “return.” When we get off course in following Him – even one wrong turn, one small compromise – we will take off on a trajectory that leads us far away from Him.
Again and again in Scripture God calls His people to return. What does that mean?
- First, we must stop going the wrong direction. Stop doing the things that are contrary to the nature of God. Oh yeah, I’m talking sin.
- Then we must turn around and come back to Him. Humble ourselves and agree with God that we were wrong. True repentance involves a little grieving and mourning. (See James 4:7-10.)
- Then we must closely follow Him. Move when He moves. Stop when He stops. Turn when He turns.
That way we will end up where Jesus wants us to be. And not in Florida. Unless of course, that’s where Jesus wants you to be!