George Bowers Sr.: The importance of turning right
Every morning when I leave my home to head to work, I have to turn right out of my driveway onto Sherman Road. It may not seem like a very big deal and by now it has become a habit, but the necessity of doing so each day is still important. Even if I turn right most days of the week, but decide not to on Fridays, my trip and my travel time will be impacted.
Since we are already a week into a new year, we need to remember to keep turning right by continuing to make good decisions each day. Just because we made great decisions last year and perhaps for the last many years doesn’t guarantee we’ll get where we want to go if we don’t continue to make right turns. Good decision making in our past helps to establish habits of obedience and holiness that are more easily followed as we reinforce them each day, but we still have to choose the right path every time we come to a crossroads. Past success ensures nothing, except for perhaps a fall predicated by our pride.
Thankfully, if I do turn left on Sherman Road, I can follow Alonzaville Road around and eventually end up where I want to be. Another solution is to simply make a U-turn in order to end up traveling in the direction I should have initially chosen. Both of these will take me out of my way and require additional time and gas, but with the proper subsequent turns, I can still end up at work.
So too, an occasional wrong turn in life needn’t be a permanent disaster. In God’s grace and mercy, he forgives our errors when we ask him to, but he does expect us to begin to make better choices from that moment on. The more wrong turns we make, the further away from our intended destination we become and the more time and resources we waste wondering around the back roads of life. God has so much he wants us to experience and so much he wants to give us, but he can’t do either as He’d like if we are not seeking his best for our lives.
Romans 8:28 reveals that God is even able to take our wrong turns, or wrong turns others made for us, and still provide a route to our desired ending. He can actually use the alternate routes to bring us blessings we hadn’t anticipated. While we should never turn against his will intentionally, his amazing hand of providence can still bless us in spite of our mistakes or those of others.
It’s really worth pondering why God would trust us with the steering wheel, but he does. While he can and sometimes does override our freewill, for the most part he allows us to make our own decisions and pursue our own goals and routes. Through his word, through relatives and friends, and through other methods, God often provides road signs to point us in the right direction, but in most instances, he still gives us the privilege of making our own choices for good or ill.
Thankfully, there are those times when he knows we’re heading too far in the wrong direction and he grabs our controls to slow us down or even turn us around. We usually see such events as disastrous or traumatic at the time, but we often look back later in gratitude for what he did.
As you consider the turns you will make today and throughout the coming year, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal not only your destination, but the best route that will take you there. Invite him to make any wrong turns obvious and to empower you not to choose them. And let’s invite him to intervene in our life travels whenever we’re too blind or proud to see our poor choices.
Keep turning right! George
George Bowers Sr. is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored seven books in addition to contributing to “The Wonders of Nature 365 Devotions Celebrating God’s Beauty” by Worthy Inspired. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.