If you have ever accidentally turned onto a one-way road heading the wrong direction, then you’ve probably felt the alarming realization that comes with passing a “wrong way” road sign. It’s not a good feeling. Either you think you’re heading the right way, or you’re just too pre-occupied to know—but whatever the reason may be, you’ve suddenly found yourself in the arms of danger, and it’s time to make an immediate u-turn. It’s time to turn around, because you understand that if you keep driving the direction that you’re headed, you’re bound to crash head on into another vehicle.
One time I was taking a short road trip to visit some family, and on the way home I witnessed some reckless driving. As I moved down the highway, I noticed another truck that was heading the same way begin to make a u-turn. The major problem the person in this vehicle had somehow failed to perceive was that they were making a u-turn off the highway and directly into an on-ramp. They were driving the wrong way. Perhaps unaware of the danger in which they had carelessly placed themselves, this driver continued to move up the steep on-ramp. This particular on-ramp was situated on an incline, and at the top of the ramp sat the peak of the hill. So, the truck driving the wrong way up the ramp had no foresight—no clear picture of a vehicle that might come barreling over the hill and down the ramp.
In my confusion regarding the actions of the other driver, I kept looking back over my shoulder to see what was going to happen. Just as the truck reached the top of the ramp, an eighteen-wheeler made an appearance. It came speeding over the top of the hill and down the ramp, heading straight for the truck. At the last moment, the truck that was headed the wrong way made a hasty maneuver, swerving successfully off the road and out of the path of the oncoming semi. I sat back in amazement that the driver escaped an almost certain wreck.
The “Wrong Way” Road Sign
If you’ve been a Christian long, you probably know what it feels like to see a “wrong way” road sign. When you started out, you were making a fresh start, headed the right way under the direction of Christ. But then, one day some of us decided to turn the car around, and were now headed in the wrong direction. You know when you’re going the wrong way because the signs are clear. Your life does not reflect the fullness that Jesus talked about. Maybe your peace is gone, or perhaps you’ve lost your joy. Maybe you feel purposeless or burdened by life. It could be a financial crisis or a relational situation that weighs upon your heart. Whatever it is, you can see the signs. The signs are clear, because it is obvious that the situation you are facing does not come under the Lordship of Christ, and therefore His hand is not at work.
Some of us may feel like it’s been too long. You want to turn the car back around, but you feel like you’ve caused too much damage to yourself and to others. You might assume that there’s no turning around because you wouldn’t know how to get back on track if you tried. I know that feeling. It’s the feeling of a disaster. It’s the feeling that says that what you have created is certain to end in disaster, and there’s no clear way to fix it.
The Way Everlasting
King David wrote a very beautiful Psalm that ends with a plea to God for examination and guidance. If you’re headed the wrong way, pray these verses to God. Then read and pray through all of Psalm 139.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24
The line of David eventually led to the everlasting Way. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He allowed His life to be wrecked so that we could be forgiven and so that we could begin to follow the truth. He fought for and won an eternal victory, because when we turn around and trust in Him as our Savior, and as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, we are able to find life in Him. If you’re leaning on your own understanding, then begin to lean on Christ. Begin to lean on the truth that He was crucified in your stead. Ask God to search you, to see if there is any hurtful way in you. Then believe that He can forgive and restore, and begin to follow Him down the road that truly leads to life.
Reckless driving will not end in a wreck-less life. But when you give control back over to your Savior, He will transform your callous heart into an image of Himself. By dying on the cross, Jesus saved those of us who believe, and He is still able to save you today. He’s able to fix what we cannot fix. He’s able to redirect a life that has no direction. He’s able to redeem the damage that has been done. He is the Savior. He is the Way.