I was getting off an interstate exit ramp this weekend when I saw 2 older ladies driving down the exit ramp toward the interstate going the wrong way. Fortunately, there was nobody behind me and they were able to get past me and make a u-turn. I saw their mistake. They were trying to turn on a road just past the exit ramp and turned too soon. It could have been ugly, but I was glad to see them safely get back on the right road.
Going the wrong way can have dire consequences. Our family was spared a tragedy recently as my father-in-law was driving home from work. . A man swerved into his lane and hit him head on. Grampy suffered some cuts, bruises and a significant gash to the back of his head after his SUV rolled and flipped and he had to be cut out of the car. But it is miraculous that he is with us today. The other guy didn’t fair as well. He was life-flighted to a nearby city for medical care and we don’t know the outcome.
We don’t know what happened to cause the other driver to go the wrong way. Was he intoxicated? Was he texting or adjusting his radio and was distracted? Had he been working late and fell asleep at the wheel? What we do know is that when someone goes the wrong way, it can have terrible consequences. And it doesn’t always hurt just the one on the wrong path. It can have devastating effects to the others around.
Cars are one thing. But life is another. I have found myself heading the wrong way in life. Like those ladies on the exit ramp, I have quickly discovered my mistake and was able to find my way to the right road before something terrible happened. But sometimes a wrong road leads to destruction. We’ve seen it happen. The life that crashes with so much force that others are hurt or destroyed in the process.
It’s hard to say why we end up on wrong roads at times. Maybe we take a wrong turn, like the ladies on the exit ramp and just need a little guidance to get to where we need to be. Maybe we are intoxicated by someone or something or some lifestyle that grabs our attention and then takes over. Maybe we lose focus. We get distracted and take our eyes off the road we are on, swerving onto the wrong side. Or maybe we’ve just fallen asleep at the wheel. We are just too worn down, too tired or too lazy to keep trying.
We all have a road that is right for us. And our roads look different. But hopefully we can recognize when we are on the wrong path. The wrong path is anything that leads to destruction and hurt. A path that takes away our joy. That robs us of a fulfilling life. That causes shame and fear.
If you are heading down the wrong path toward destruction, then I urge you to make a u-turn today. And if you love someone who is on a wrong path, then don’t give up on them. Don’t stop praying for them. Their road may have some dark turns before it comes out into the light, but your prayers for them can be the very guidance they need to get back on the right path.