Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me your ways, Oh Lord; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my savior and my hope is in you all day long.”
While vacationing on a beautiful beach in Florida, I planned on running three miles. The first two were under nicely shaded shops along the boardwalk. But then I wanted to enjoy the scenery of ocean waves crashing upon the beach. I’ll run my last mile along the shore and call it quits. Sounded like a good plan to me. I trudged over across the sand to the edge of the shore where I could run on solid ground. My plan was to run for half a mile out and half a mile back to make it an even three. But that’s when I got off course.
I was ready to head back the last half mile and cut back through where I thought I’d entered the beach area. But what I didn’t know then was that I’d turned too soon. As I jogged back to where I thought our condo was located, the scenery around me didn’t look familiar. I kept looking for the sign that bore the name of our condo. But I didn’t see it anywhere. My persistent jog slowly turned to a sluggish stroll. I finally had to humbly admit the truth: I had taken a wrong turn and was headed in the opposite direction.
The sweltering sun ushered streams of sweat running down my back…. joined with tears of frustration pouring down my face. No longer underneath shaded shops to shelter me, I could not escape the blistering sun.
I sensed God gently speaking to my weary soul: Yes, you are turned around. But that doesn’t define who you are.
As I continued to walk (not running at this point!) one step at a time closer to my condo, I asked God to show me some truth from this situation so it wouldn’t be a total waste. (Of course the obvious lesson is to figure out where you are before running an extra mile!)
Sometimes we think we know exactly where we are in life. We head off in a certain direction without evaluating where we really are. We make plans and think we have it all figured out. But then we suddenly realize we are not where we intended to be. We have to admit we took a wrong turn. We have to set our pride aside and accept the reality that we missed something.
But the cool thing about God is that even when we’ve taken a wrong turn, He’s still right there with us. Even when we are way off His intended course, He is still our rock. We may have to take a longer route to get back on track, but He promises to never leave us.
Although I was running in unfamiliar territory, I still felt the effects of the sun. In fact, it was the only thing recognizable at the moment of realizing I was lost. Whether I’m running at home in Kentucky or on a beautiful Florida beach, it’s still the same sun shining down upon me. And in the same way, God is always with us whether we’re in a predictable routine or right smack in the middle of something frightening and unfamiliar.
READY? Have you found yourself off course when you thought you were on the right path? Did you take a sudden turn not realizing it would bring you to a place you didn’t want to be? If you find yourself on a path you didn’t intend to walk, humbly ask God to help you get back on the right course. Yes, you might have to experience some consequences but He will be with you every step of the way. He’s never left your side. He’s still there.
GET SET. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
GO! Heavenly Father, show me in my life where I’ve gotten off course. Reveal to me anything I need to confess in going the wrong way. Thank you for your faithfulness to me even when I’m going the wrong direction. Help me run back into your loving arms and walk confidently in your forgiveness and love. Amen.
Blessings to you!