I was listening to the radio the other day. This station frequently has traffic reports. As I listened, they reported there was congestion, slow downs, traffic jams and a few accidents, mostly in the same places where they usually are.
Then there was some breaking news concerning traffic; there was a driver going the wrong way on one of the main highways. This was a dangerous situation, and the radio station was trying to warn as many people as possible.
When something like this happens everyone can see the danger, they agree on the danger, and they move to avoid the danger. No doubt the other drivers were flashing their lights, and blowing their horns in an attempt to warn the driver that he had made a mistake and to get him to get off the road, or at least to turn around and go the right way.
For that man to be driving the wrong way on the interstate, he had to have ignored several warning signs. The same thing is true in our daily lives, yet we frequently manage to end up going the wrong way on life’s road and making choices that put others and ourselves at risk.
Sometimes we discover the error of our ways fairly quickly and can change direction before too much damage is done. Other times it may take years or even decades before we realize that we have made a mistake, that we have been going the wrong way all that time.
If we are lucky, we may meet others who because of different experiences or a different perspective can see that we are going the wrong way and warn us. Perhaps they know the dangers ahead because they have already made the same mistakes we are making.
Wouldn’t it be a great thing if life came with an instruction book or the equivalent of the signs along our roads? Something to show us the way, to warn us of the dangers ahead, and to let us know when we are going the wrong way?
The good news is that life does come with an instruction manual, it’s called the Bible. Even better the Bible has a section filled with directional signs that will keep us from danger if we would just follow them. Some people refer to them as the Ten Commandments. They teach us how to live with one another, direct us toward a good relationship with God, and they warn us away from those things that can only harm others and ourselves. If you have not read them for a while now might be a good time to do so. They are listed in Exodus 20:1-26 and Deuteronomy 5:1-22.
The next time you are feeling lost or confused, and people seem to be flashing their lights at you a lot; it might be a warning that you are going the wrong way.
John R. Fowler is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Prosper.