Going the Wrong Way

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

  • Deuteronomy 32:4

“God is exalted in his power.
    Who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed his ways for him,
    or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
Remember to extol his work,
    which people have praised in song.
All humanity has seen it;
    mortals gaze on it from afar.
How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    The number of his years is past finding out.

  • Job 36:22-26

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  • John 14:6

“Accidentally traveling to a wrong location can be embarrassing. But there is one time in your life you don’t want to end up at the wrong destination—and that’s the day of your death. Many will be surprised at the people who will be in heaven. People we may think should be in heaven won’t be there, while many people we don’t think should be in heaven will be. The worst surprise of all will be for those people who assumed they would be welcomed into God’s presence but will instead be turned away from heaven’s gate.
“The Bible clearly says that only those who have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins will reside in the new heaven and the new earth. When people argue against the exclusivity of Christ for salvation by saying, ‘No one but God can decide who will be in heaven,’ they miss a crucial truth: God has already decided the standard by which people will be admitted into His presence. When we declare that faith in Christ offers the only path to heaven, we are not creating our own criterion but simply repeating the requirement God established.”

  • Dr. Robert Jeffress, A Place Called Heaven

In the quote from Dr. Jeffress’ book, he had just told the story about flying to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  He was to speak in thirty minutes at a conference in Vancouver.  He had no idea that he had flown to the wrong city, in the wrong province. and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was over 1500 miles away.  Everyone laughed as he told them, but luckily there was a flight in a few minutes with a vacant seat.  With the two-hour time zone change, he made it to the conference with a few minutes to spare.

I once had a boss who was scatter-brained.  That is the most complimentary thing I can think to say.  He knew how to cook the books so that his department looked good.  If he wanted to live a life of crime, “confidence man” would be his specialty.  He could cheat anyone out of anything.  He made anything sound good, and sometimes his group did excellent work in spite of him.

He had sold a major fiberglass manufacturer a system to clean their off gasses.  They installed one unit to see if it worked satisfactorily to rid themselves of the environmental problem they were having.  The technology was good, and my employer got projects at the other facilities.  One was in Lexington, North Carolina.  The boss had a meeting scheduled with the plant management and he told the clerk, who did nothing but travel, that he was going to “Lexington.”  There are 25 of the 50 states with a town named Lexington, but the famous one, where the University of Kentucky resides, is in Kentucky.

To make matters worse, he knew that he would not be flying into an airport named “Lexington” so it did not occur to him that he was in the wrong place.  He arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Okay, the Cincinnati airport is across the river in Kentucky.  Just as he had done with the travel clerk, he asked the rental car agent how to get to Lexington.  That was easy, take the loop around Cincinnati to the interstate heading south and when the interstate splits, take the left fork.  As he passed the state capitol of Frankfort much later, he finally realized he was in Kentucky instead of North Carolina.  He only had to continue down the interstate that he was on and make a few more turns along the way, and he would be at the right Lexington in seven or eight hours.  He cancelled the meeting instead.

The bizarre thing was that he had been to the proper Lexington before.  The terrain is all different.  From the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, the most direct route to Lexington was through the city center.  Driving down extremely hilly roads in the countryside and not city driving should have immediately told him he was in the wrong place.  Oh, besides being welcomed to Cincinnati, Ohio instead of Charlotte, North Carolina before he ever got off the airplane.  There were so many people at the company that wanted to give the travel clerk a big hug for that one.

Then there was the time, after we had been relocated to our new offices that he got lost going to work.  There were two Technology Drives.  They were supposed to connect, but until the developers sold land to some new businesses, they had built the road up to a point and then piled a mountain of dirt – pavement to an abrupt end.  He got on the wrong end of the road, and as everyone knows, when you are lost and on the wrong road, the best course of action is to drive as fast as humanly possible.  Note: that last statement is false, but that was what he did, until he buried the engine block of his Cadillac in the loose soil.  He was wearing his seatbelt.  He called the office and another manager picked up the phone, since it was on night-ringer mode.  When he quit laughing, he called an ambulance and a tow truck.  Now, decades later, the road is complete, and you can get to the offices from where he was.

Now that I have had my fun, I must admit that I got on a wrong road once.  Yes, the master of knowing where he is going failed, once.  I was driving from South Carolina to Cocoa, Florida to visit my aunt – and to take in some amusement parks in Orlando.  We got to Jacksonville, Florida and in the maze of interstate highways in the city center, we got on Interstate-10 headed west toward Tallahassee, Florida, instead of continuing south.  There were no road signs stating what highway we were on, probably stolen and sitting in bedrooms of teen-aged boys, but the sun was in the wrong place.  And oddly, there was no exit for quite some time.  I should have turned around.  As C. S. Lewis says, the most progressive man is the man who repents first and turns around to go in the right direction, but I knew that Interstate 75 took me south.  My only problem was that our change in route added two and a half hours to the journey.  We missed the big dinner my aunt had prepared and of course a couple of great hours of conversation in catching up.

But the Scriptures tell us that God’s way is never the wrong way.  The last one states that Jesus is the only way to the Father.

In a meaningful relationship with Jesus as our Savior, we have the right way to God within us.  There is no other way, no matter how many hours you drive down the interstate highways of life.  Jesus also said the gate is narrow.  Probably the interstate, multilane highways, are far too wide.

That reminds me of a story that Max Lucado told.  He had to get to the airport in a hurry (I think it was the airport), but he was on the far side of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (He was a missionary there at the time).  He had no idea how to get where he needed to be.  He only knew that his destination was in the same direction as the giant mountain top statue of Christ the Redeemer.  He kept thinking the same thing, over and over, and arrived at his destination in time.  What did he tell himself?

“If you are lost, look to Jesus.”

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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