Tuesday, June 24, 2008

15-Point Turns

A friend of mine lives a bit out in the country. She has a long gravel driveway that curves a bit through the woods. The first few times I went to visit I had a hard time getting out. Since the driveway is so long and curvy it only made sense to turn around before I headed home. But with the length of my truck, the narrowness of the drive, and the abundance of trees all around . . . this was a bit tricky.

What I first thought would be a simple Drivers Ed 3-point turn . . . turned into a 15-point one, trying to inch my way around between the cluster of trees in the front and the large tree in the back. I just kept hoping my friend wouldn’t peer out the window and laugh, but also wished someone was there to direct me.

In the middle of one of those tedious turnarounds, it hit me. Sometimes growth in the spiritual life requires a 15-point turn. We may expect an instant 180ْ or long for a simple, smooth u-turn, but we find ourselves inching our way into a new direction, navigating around the obstacles with a forward-turn-reverse-turn pattern that seems endless.

But it isn’t. Though it may not seem like it, we are making progress. We are gradually turning in a new direction. We have our sights set on a new path and we are making the effort to get there.

Most importantly, we have our eyes fixed on the Lord (Hebrews 12:2). He will enable the change (Matthew 19:26). He will provide the growth (1 Corinthians 3:7). He is with us in the struggle (Psalm 23:4).

So today if you find yourself in a 15-point turn, do not be discouraged! God is with you, sees your effort, and will help you make it through. And if you encounter someone else who is in the middle of such a tedious turn of their own, don’t laugh or become impatient. Pray for them. And perhaps take a minute to direct them or simply journey with them as they strive to turn around.

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22

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