Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me. Psalm 25:4-5
I love variety. I rarely take the same route across town twice in a row. I’ll see a street I’ve never traveled and say, “Hmm, I wonder where this goes.” My husband laughs at me and calls me the ‘queen of back roads’. But one thing I’ve discovered ~ It’s pretty easy to end up in unfamiliar territory. It starts with a small detour and a belief that I can figure it out on my own. Lost, I have to re-trace my turns but that is often difficult. Before GPS, I had to stop and ask for directions back to the main road.
Spiritual wandering works the same way. I take a detour by substituting my need for God with other things. I don’t make a course correction because the idols satisfy me for a while. I feel good and I sense no impending crisis. There are few clues that spiritual prostitution leads to a dead-end street. I’m on a journey to no-where and end up lost and far from home.
My circuitous path is not hidden from God. Though I am off course and disoriented, He has memorized my wayward excursion. He remembers each fork in the road and each choice I made. Though I’m feeling like a rat in a maze who can’t seem to find its way back, God knows the map. He takes me, in reverse, to each intersection in the road; allowing me to review my choices. Wisdom is birthed as I understand where I went astray. Choosing the right way the second time opens my eyes to the meaning of redemption for there is joy as the lights of home slowly come into view.
Don’t you find that we often think we have strayed too far? Making things right with God seems out of reach and the memory of our first-love feels like a distant dream. We have forgotten that God’s arm is long and His mercy is deep. He calls us home and offers a second chance no matter how far from our roots we have traveled. The way back starts with humility and an admission that we’re lost. The author, Brennan Manning says, “I cannot receive what the crucified Rabbi has to give until I stretch out my arms till they ache.”
I’m so glad that You have consistently led me home when I’ve strayed, Lord. I reached for You. On the journey back, You gave me wisdom in exchange for my foolishness. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen