Have you ever taken a wrong turn that took you to a place you didn’t want to be? Years ago I lived in Fort Worth, Texas. Having just recently moved there, I didn’t know my way around very well and being from a small town in Arkansas certainly didn’t help the matter any. After living there a few weeks, I got a job managing the night shift at FedEx about 20 miles from my apartment. My first night going to work I took a wrong turn on the I-820 loop (which circles Fort Worth). Shortly after realizing my mistake, I wondered out loud, “how did I get here….and what do I do now?”
I quickly looked for a way to get back on the loop to where I needed to go. Ugh. There was construction right after the exit that had me take a detour. I fumbled through the detour on the side streets, trying to get back to the loop headed back the right way. Realizing I needed to be going the opposite direction on the side street, I took a U-Turn. That would have worked except for the police car parked in the ally. Blue lights lit up the darkness as I was pulled over. According to the officer and unknowingly to me, I made an illegal U-turn, ran a stop sign and was speeding.
Whew! Talk about a costly wrong turn. I was late to work and faced with over $500 worth of fines. What started out as a happy and excited evening turned into me wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into – all over one wrong turn.
Have you ever made a wrong turn in life? Have you ever ended up some where you never intended to go? Have you experienced the costs of making a wrong turn? Have you ever asked yourself “How did I end up here and what do I do now?”
I sure have. George Orwell, the great English author, once said, “An autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.” While this isn’t an autobiography, it isn’t worth much without transparency. I have made more than my share of wrong turns in my life. I have experienced great loss as a result of choices I have made.
What has been said of wrong turns is true. They will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. Whether it’s a few hundred dollars in fines or much, much more!
I can’t help but think there are other people who share my own experiences of taking the wrong path at one time or another.
If that is you, whether it is your past or you are going through it now – wrong turns end up taking everyone to a place where they ask “How did I end up here?” What is “here”? A place of unfamiliarity. Discouragement. Loss of hope. Unsure about the future. Guilt and regret. Anxiety and worry.
If the answer to the question “How did I get here” is as simple as I made a wrong turn – then it’s time to turn this thing around. Because “here” is a place you will do anything to get out of. Make the U-turn. Run the stop sign, get the speeding ticket and pay the fines.
Wrong turns are costly. And the Way Back can be costly too. It requires an honest assessment of you and your life, what got you “here” and what will get you out.
The good news is that there is a way out. If you are at a place you never thought you would be and want more out of life – then a new road awaits you! You can walk away from the guilt and regret. You can be free from worry & anxiety. You can have a life of security and peace.
Yesterday ended last night and today is a new day! What do you now? For starters, refuse to see your failure as final. Where you are is not a destination but a detour.
How you see your situation in light of your wrong turns makes all the difference in the world. If God is anything the Bible builds Him up to be, He is a God of HOPE. That isn’t just for perfect drivers….but for those of us who have made wrong turns from time to time as well. If that is you…..
Where you are right now isn’t the final destination, it is simply the place you will start over.