April 7, 2009
“The Lord said, ‘I
It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law.’” Jeremiah 9:13 (NIV)
The car was packed; the gas tank full; a cooler stood chock-full of sandwiches for the long ride. This was it! My three kids and I were excitedly off on a summertime adventure. In the midst of a stressful and busy move and while waiting for the kids’ bedrooms in the basement to be finished, we threw caution to the wind and took my friend Marybeth up on an invitation to join her at an ocean beachfront home she was being allowed to use for free.
Now this was no small undertaking. It was going to be a 17-hour trip with three kids in the car. Besides the necessities we needed to pack, most of all we needed directions. We had to see on paper just how to get from our little home in the middle of Michigan to sunny Ocean Isle, North Carolina, without getting lost!
Should be a piece of cake in this era of online sites that spit out detailed directions, right? Of course! So I printed them off, tucked them in a folder and revved up the car’s engine. Before I left, however, my father called me. He winters near Ocean Isle and he wanted to give me verbal directions since he has traveled that course twice a year for the past 18 years and is very familiar with how to get there.
I reluctantly wrote down his instructions, complete with highways to avoid and exit names, etc. Then, I tossed the directions into the glove compartment. I thanked him for the gesture but assured him I probably wouldn’t need it since I had the newest, slick Internet directions already. But “Father knows best!’ he assured me. I smiled and headed off.
About half-way to our destination, I noticed that the exit number and name on the Internet’s directions didn’t match up. I began to panic. Should I take the exit number it gave or the exit name it listed? I chose the exit number. Soon after that, we became completely lost. None of the directions made sense any more. We got off the exit, headed back to where we’d made the turn and tried again.
But this way didn’t work either! We were soon heading north instead of south and there wasn’t an exit in sight for miles! When we finally got off, I popped into a gas station and asked for help. The attendant smiled and handed me a piece of paper with corrected directions already written on it. It seems that the Internet site does not completely have the directions. In fact, the station gets dozens of lost souls wandering into their establishment everyday longing just to get back on the right track. They were ready with printed directions to give out to such weary travelers.
Worried that the rest of my Internet directions might be wrong as well, I quickly fumbled through the glove compartment to find my father’s handwritten instructions. I ran them by the gas station attendant. “Perfect!” he commented. My father knew the way without any wrong turns. “Just stick to your father’s instructions and you won’t be lost” I was told.
Like so much of life, we hear of new fangled shortcuts, ways to find happiness or even new paths for getting to heaven. Celebrities say they have found new spiritual dimensions or perfect peace in a New Age practice. We must resist the desire to trust these so called ‘new ways’ completely and instead follow our Father’s original instructions: the Holy Bible. His ancient words ring true. He is the way, the ONLY way, and following His instructions will never result in our souls being lost.
Perhaps it is time we did away with the new and went back to the old. God’s instructions are never wrong. They lead to peace and contentment and a home with Him in heaven forever. Why, that is even better than a week at the beach!
Dear Lord, help me to get and stay forever grounded in Your ancient instructions, the Bible. May I follow only Your holy ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.