Over the last week we did a lot of driving. It is amazing the level of congestion on the interstates and other roads I traveled. I was pleasantly surprised and glad that coming from Charlotte to Abbeville on Saturday we only had 3 brief traffic jams. Everyone is going somewhere, everyone seems to be in a hurry and everyone seems a bit impatient. As I observed all of this I wondered ... "Do all these people truly have a destination that is good?"
I ask this question for a reason. It is interesting how many of our current health/safety problems relate to behaviors that are lifestyle-related and discretionary. Lung issues, heart issues, STDs, AIDS, alcohol-related issues, texting-related auto accidents, opioids, stress, food addictions ... I could list these for a long time. But you get the point. These are not good or healthy destinations. It is like many of us are searching for something to cling to, and often we grab onto the wrong things. In Matthew 9:36 it says, "When he saw the crowds he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Two points regarding these observations. First, to begin the process of healing and wholeness, there is something we must do. That thing is turn. I missed my exit from Hwy. 74 in Charlotte and had to reset my navigation and turn. My first action was the realize I was not going in the right direction. One recovering alcoholic said to me, "While I was falling I didn't realize there was a problem. But when I hit hard on the 'bottom of the barrel' it woke me up." We need to wake up, take a deep breath and turn away from the precipice that we are rapidly approaching.
But that's only half the issue. What good is it to turn when you still don't know where you are going? In Acts 3:19 Peter has just given God the glory for healing a lame man. The man, lame from birth, was brought daily to the temple gate where he begged for sustenance. Did Peter say, "Dude ... you should go to the other gate ... those people are wealthy and you will get more money!" No! Peter, through God's power told the man to get up and walk. Then he said some very specific and directional things to all who would listen ... "Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah." 1) Turn from your sins, 2) Turn to God, 3) You need your sins wiped away, 4) You will be refreshed, 5) Your refreshment will happen because of God's presence, 6) God will send you Jesus, 7) Jesus IS your savior.
Turn away from the things destroying you. Turn to God who will refresh and heal you. Jesus is your savior and He will come to you and walk with you and open your eyes to a better view of yourself, your environment and your destination. You will still be a sheep, but you will have the Great Shepherd to guide you. That'll preach! Randy