Staying on Course

“…O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isaiah 3:12

Our family enjoyed several FUN days in the TN Mountains and, although getting away was great, it is also nice to be home-sweet-home! It has been almost 33 years that my Honskins and I spent our honeymoon in Gatlinburg and since that time we have made a few trips back with the kids. Our first stop? – downtown Gatlinburg with all the shops, including the candy stores where we watched taffy being made!  🙂

It wasn’t long until we ventured to the go-karts where my main job was cheering them on and taking pictures, of course! After they had raced on the different tracks for a little while, one time of racing proved to be a time of testing as well. As the lead person pulled out, he made a right turn instead of staying left. Whoever was directly behind him followed suit, as did the next person, as did the next person………as did Anna.  Caleb and Bethany, who were the last ones in the line-up, just watched all those people going the wrong way as they proceeded left. Their cries of, “Annnaaaaaa!!!” were too late as little sis had already reached the point of no return.  🙂

That incident came to my mind when I read in Isaiah this morning. “…they which lead thee cause thee to err…” Isaiah 3:12  For whatever reason, that first person in the line of go-karts went the wrong way. Whether intentional or not, the results were several people following him including his own family and our Anna. Although I cannot speak for the others, I do know that Anna had some go-karting experience but, what little knowledge she had did not keep her from making an obvious wrong turn.  As she turned right with the rest of them, did her “go-kart knowledge” holler, “This is the wrong way!!!”?  Maybe…I don’t know.

In this day of increasing compromise and falling away, how vitally important to stay in close fellowship with the Lord on a daily basis, through prayer and Bible reading/meditating. We cannot depend on last week’s or last month’s time of fellowship with the Lord to get us through today. And then, how careful we must be to THINK before making any decisions. THINK – What does God’s Word say about this? THINK – Who am I following? THINK – How will this decision affect me in 5 years, 10 years, etc. THINK – How will this decision affect those that are following me?…my children, my grandchildren, my friends, those that may look up to me?  THINK – Would I like to be found making this decision when the Lord comes back?

It is not easy to go opposite “the crowd”. As Bethany and Caleb watched everyone in front of them make that wrong turn, they may have experienced a moment of hesitation…a moment of questioning themselves as to what direction to take. So often is the case when making decisions in life. As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us as our Guide. But even though, from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we KNOW what we should do, our own human nature will often cause us to look at what everyone else is doing and follow suit. No one likes to be different. Many times, there is a false sense of security in numbers but, as in the go-kart incidence, that security is often short-lived as a wrong turn becomes apparent down the road.

As those that turned right at the race track finally got turned around, they were no longer in the lead. Their mistake had cost them. Likewise, in our Christian life, we will make wrong turns from time-to-time and with those poor decisions we will suffer loss. Far too often, as in the case of the Dad that was in the lead, we cause others to follow us in our bad choices. But, there is good news!! I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we, in humility, cry to God for mercy, He is ready and willing to put us back on the right track…headed in the right direction!

The next time this family goes go-karting, I think Anna will be extra careful. With all the teasing she has received from her siblings, I’m pretty sure she will stay on course no matter who else veers…at least I think so. When we, in our Christian lives, find ourselves having to turn around and back track, let’s not let the experience be a total loss. Let’s determine, by God’s grace, to learn from our mistakes. As we turn to God’s Word for counsel, let’s determine, next time, to THINK before we act.

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” Proverbs 4:26

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6

~ Rachel ~

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