The Storyteller – July – Sept 2019
Once, on a cold winter’s night, on my way back from London, I came upon roadworks that totally cut off the route I would normally take home. There were diversion signs but they were all ‘French’ to me, I couldn’t make ‘heads or tails’ of them. I had left London at about 9:30 pm the evening and would normally be home for about midnight, but tonight was going to be quite a different story. I had a sat nav so was confident that as soon as I turned off it would find a new route to get me home but it seemed confused itself. I thought all I needed to do was to find a side road that would take me a few miles off the motorway where I could then re-enter just above the roadworks. I am not exaggerating when I say I was going around in circles for hours. At least 3 times I discovered I was actually heading back down to London. At least twice I came right back to the point where I started.
The problem I find with the authorities in the UK is that they decide to do all their roadworks at the same time. I was driving from one roadworks diversion to another. By this time I had a friend on the phone trying to find a route home for me on their computer. At least he helped me get out of the proverbial loop that I was caught in. I now found myself in a small town where I could top up my petrol that was now running low.
After travelling through a few small towns the route home on my sat nav was finally taking me away from the same loop I was caught in earlier. I could now allow my friend to go get his precious night sleep and to be extra sure, on my second petrol stop, I spoke to a taxi driver who confirmed that the new route would take me home. The stress and anxiety melted away as I began to have new hope of getting home before daylight. I had been trying to find my way for about four hours by this time.
I began the journey along the narrow country roads and was, for the first time, beginning to make gains towards home when I started to see signs warning of road works up ahead. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Hope went as anxiety came rushing back again. These signs were sending me right back to the very same circle I had just escaped. I was not going back there. I was determined that I would drive right up to where they were working and sleep right there under their watchful eyes until morning.
I pulled right up to the barriers where some men were just putting down equipment so I spoke to one of them and told them my predicament how I have been trying to get home from about 9:30 pm the night before. God moved on this man’s heart and he told me of a much easier route that would take me around the roadworks and back onto the road that led home instead of following the signs that were leading away from home and back into trouble.
I was able to follow his instructions that took me back on the road home. I was still hours away from home and totally exhausted so decided to pull into a truckers lay-by and get some sleep before starting the long trek home. I was able to finally get home and into my warm bed just before daybreak.
When we are lost we use up a lot of resources going nowhere. The hours wasted going around in circles that night is nothing to be compared with the years I wasted when I went away from the call of God. When we go off the path on life’s journey, we end up wasting resources that are much more precious than petrol. We lose things that can never be regained like the vigour of our youth, for example.
Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 7:13-14, will save us from great distress if headed. “Enter by the narrow gate…” He says. Luke’s version of this warning puts it this way, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate…” Entering through any other gate aside from this gate will lead us into unthinkable catastrophe. Following on from His instructions to enter the narrow gate in Matthew 7, was His warning to look out for false prophets. Why? Because false prophets are agents of the devil sent to lead us down the wrong path to get us lost. It was a false prophet who led my wife and I down the broad road away from God and seeking the things of this world. We lost many precious years down this futile path. I thank God that my shepherd is the one who will leave the 99 to rescue the one lost sheep.
By God’s grace we soon discovered that the way we were going was not God’s way. The things we were taught looked and felt wrong. Jesus’ teachings says the believers journey is one of self sacrifice yet we were led down a path of self indulgence. Leonard Ravenhill in his book Revival God’s Way says this, “The New Testament Church was identified with persecutions, prisons, and poverty; today many of us are identified with prosperity, popularity, and personalities.” pg. 57
Some heading down the broad road that leads to destruction are there because they are lost. Unfortunately there are others on this road because it was their route of choice. If you feel uncomfortable about the doctrines, spirit and attitudes you are presently following don’t just keep going! Stop and check the scriptures it is your road map to ensure you are heading down the right path wich is the narrow way.