Radical Turns

iStock_000054811632_SmallThe realization is this – I am boldly going the wrong way.

When it comes to having a sense of direction, this is not my most natural gift. Put me on roads I know or send me to a place I have been before and I am fine. If I get off track or do not retrace my way, however, the trip home can get a little longer. Sure there is Google or a GPS, but I’ve got it this time I will say to myself and drive merrily. All I can say is this – confidence in a gift you do not have will send you boldly the wrong way.

How long it takes to surrender, ask Google where I am, and admit I’ve done it again depends on the depth of arrogance and the urgency of the situation. If I have to meet someone I cave quickly, but if not I will say this is an opportunity to explore and Dora, Boots, and I go down the road. Eventually, though, I have to stop and change course.

This is not easy. It is necessary. All of us need to stop and make a radical turn.

Radical is a negative word. We do not want in these times to be thought of as extremists of any kind, and while understandable it leads to a mediocrity none of us find satisfying. I have been exploring peacemaking lately, and I would not mind at all being radically peaceful, and there are many other words that could fill that space – kind, generous, loving, forgiving.

To get to these destinations, however, requires a radical turn. In some way, the course I am on is not the way to the place I want to go. A change of direction is necessary – and the question becomes how do I know the way?

This is where Jesus is The Guy. We all need a homing beacon – that light in the distance that shows us the destination even though it might not completely reveal the way. This is why of all the specific teachings of Jesus – give to Caesar the taxes due, give a coat away if you have two, hand someone a drink of water – often times the teachings we remember are his most general.

I am the good shepherd. – John 10:11

I am the light of the world. – John 8:12

I am the way, the truth, the life. – John 14:6

He shows us the way, and then it is up to us to make that radical turn. The most powerful people I know with the most extraordinary faith are those that have faithfully made a radical change of course in Jesus’ direction. And while it takes some humility to stop, the change is for the better.

If you are headed the wrong way, I pray you make a radical turn. And when you pass me on the side of the road please ask me if I am lost because I probably am, and I am trying to get to the same place you are.

 

(thanks for reading, if you found Jesus is this please comment and share)

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