This morning I helped deliver Meals on Wheels with other members of my church – we take the month of January for delivery. I was paired with a terrific lady and it has been fun to get to know each other during these weeks. Since I have a station wagon, I drove while she navigated then both of us would get out to deliver the meals at the various homes or apartments.
We went to an area of town my Mother used to call, “the gentle side of town”. These folks appear to have been worn down by life, tired. They are grateful for what we bring. To be honest, today, it didn’t look very appetizing: sort of an orange colored piece of meat with a side of gray-green butter beans, a small carton of milk and a piece of bread – maybe a fruit though I didn’t see it.
Since the forecast is for snow we took an extra meal – something canned and prepackaged. Like I said, not very appetizing.
It takes a lot of work to get those meals out the door to each home. The ladies in the kitchen get up early each day to cook and have the meals hot for us when we arrive at 10:45. It takes organization to know who gets what taking into consideration dietary needs. It also takes patience to figure out the routes for each group. And each week there are some whose meals have to be held for whatever reason but we need to know which ones. Then we have to have the addresses…it is quite a job…they do it day after day, week after week, month after month.
But anyway, today we had a new person on the route. My partner grew up in town so I relied on her to tell me where to go…she relied on her memory of who this person was and where he lived. A couple of times that did not work so well and I had to back up or turn around. She apologized. I told her, “That’s why I have a reverse gear.”
When we went on our way, I thought about that. God has given us a “reverse gear” in life. (This is not a theological treatise!) When we are going in the wrong direction what do we do? Assess the situation and recognize we are in the wrong place. We are not where we intended or want to be. We have to stop. Then we have to turn around. Often that means putting it into reverse.
There is nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, there is a lot right with that! We all make mistakes and need to turn around. To pretend that we don’t will mean we get into a bigger mess farther from where God wants us to be. Or to continue down the road thinking we can correct it later…Or think we can figure it out on our own…It will be more painful and harder to make the correction. Not impossible – nothing is impossible with God – but harder and more painful.
What if the Israelites had recognized their error sooner and changed direction…they wouldn’t have had to wander in the desert for 40 years!!
Ok. We assess where we are, recognize we are wrong and decide to change direction. We stop. What’s next?
Look for signposts to tell us where we are and where we want to go. Ask for directions. Get help. Then move forward in the right direction and continue! In time you will arrive at your intended destination.
Don’t waste time beating yourself up for making a mistake! We all do. God allows us to begin again! He restores us and sets us on the right path – no matter how far off track we go!
Thank you for what you wrote! It is such a great confirmation…a few months ago I asked all on this blog to pray for my adult son. He nearly died these last couple of weeks due to giving himself over to drugs after 12 years being clean. He has lived his live walking on the fence so to say…well the hell he went through scared the hell right out of him and he turned to heaven for the very first time since he was a little boy. I am more happy than I thought possible knowing he has finally decided to follow Jesus. Jesus is hard at work now using people to house and help him detox as they take him to 12 step meetings sometimes 4 a day this weekend. My son is very ill right now though and continues to need prayer badly to heal his broken body and establish him in the ways of our Lord. Please pray for Mike again and thank you all who do.
Will continue to pray.
Ruth, I have been meaning to ask you if it is okay to make copies to give away of “The Cross” that your dad gave the world or is there a place to purchase the DVD’s. It was such a powerful message, I would like to give one to everyone I know and meet.
It is copywrited material so it wouldn’t be good to copy it but if you contact The Billy Graham Association, I think they will send you some.
Love the way you see things! Great insight!
I needed this message TODAY. Our Lord never ceases to amaze me with His perfect timing.
Thank you Ruth for delivering His advice through this technology.
Interesting…the Israelites DID recognize their error–but it was TOO LATE. You have to exercise reverse gear BEFORE you drive off the cliff!