Read Psalm 85
Focus on verse 8
I am not certain whether this tale is based on fact or fiction, but it seems plausible enough given the kinds of drivers I have encountered from time to time:
An elderly woman is watching the evening news report, and during the traffic report the news anchor is sharing a report warning people of a car on one of the freeways that has taken a wrong turn and is driving the wrong direction on the southbound lane. The woman realizes that this is not far from where her husband was scheduled to be around that time, so she calls him on his cellphone to warn him to be on the lookout for a lone car going the wrong way on the freeway. When he answers the phone she senses that he seems a little stressed, so she quickly tells him that there is apparently one car somewhere on the freeway that is going the wrong way, and that he should be careful. “One car!” he replies, “you gotta be kidding me! They are ALL going the wrong way on this freeway!” and then he adds, “and some idiot turned all the road signs around so that I can’t which road I’m on!”
I know exactly how this man must have felt. I remember years ago driving in an unfamiliar part of a larger city and making a turn only to see headlights in all the lanes ahead of me. Fortunately the street was wide enough and the oncoming cars were far enough away that I could quickly make a U-turn and avoid a collision.
There are parts of this road of life that we are one that are like a one-way street. You can’t turn back without causing a significant disturbance. In the today’s psalm the writer is expressing concern that when God restores Israel back to the promised land, that they do not make the same mistake again, and return to the foolishness of abandoning God in the pursuit of idols. He writes, “he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.” (v. 8)
One of the songs we have often sung at baptism services was the song, “I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.” I like that song because it is a good reminder to me of the commitment I have made. I have decided that the most important relationship in my life is my relationship with Jesus. My actions may not always reflect that, but I do hope that at least some of the time they do. I also trust that God who sees my heart can see that though I fail Him at times in my actions, my heart continues to be held secure by the Father. A huge part of understanding this for me was the realization that my salvation is not dependent upon what I can or should do, but on what He has done in me. That takes a great burden off my shoulders and allows me to live in freedom…not do to whatever I want, but to be motivated by my gratitude to fulfill what He has called me to.