Making Good Time in the Wrong Direction (The Fruit of the Spirit is . . . Patience . . .)
I became lost, confused and very frustrated on my way to visit my friend, Keri, at her new condo in Beaverton. She gave me written directions so I didn't bother with the GPS on my phone. Three freeways, an exit and a couple of turns and I would be there. No problem. Unfortunately, the instruction for the exit didn't tell me which way to turn next. Well, "right" seemed logical to me so off I drove . . . and drove and drove.
My directions said to cross Murray Road and turn left at the third light. I checked every major intersection but no Murray Road. Gradually the road I was on got smaller with lots of curves. I was now on a two lane road in the woods. I realized I made a mistake somewhere and started to feel a bit panicky. I needed to turn around but the road was narrow and winding with only a couple of gravel turn-outs that I saw as I flew by.
Eventually, I ended up on Burnside, a very familiar street in Portland. A totally different city. Apparently, I had been on Skyline taking the scenic route around the back side of the West Hills. I turned left into a shopping center and parked in front of a Chico's store. I was exhausted and shaky. Worst of all, I needed to call Keri and tell her where I'd ended up. She laughed and laughed.
"I've been worried about you," she said when she caught her breath. "I know what you did. You turned right instead of left when you got off the freeway. Turn around and try again."
After another half hour on the road, I parked in front of Keri's charming condo. She stood waiting, patiently looking out the upstairs window (still laughing). After a quick tour we went for a long walk and enjoyed a good visit. When it was time to go, I managed to follow the directions in reverse with no problem.
On the way home, my long drive on the wrong road got me thinking. There is an area in my life I have struggled with for years. I know it's not God's plan for me, and I do pray about it, but every time He gives me an opportunity to turn around, I whiz right by. Part of me wants to go in the right direction and part of me wants to keep driving. Hmmm.
God tends to use life situations to get my attention. He's got it now.
Okay, Lord. I don't trust myself but I trust You so I'm handing over the steering wheel. I've been making good time going the wrong direction for a long time now. I feel lost, confused and frustrated and I want You to turn me around and drive. Thank You for Your patience and for not giving up on me.