Posted by: karanoel | October 21, 2010

A different approach

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20

Before owning a phone with gps, a good portion of my time was spent driving in circles, wandering about on self-inflicted detours, and making more u-turns than I care to remember. Which led to my biggest frustration on the road… those long stretches on which a driver is forbidden to make a u-turn, or sometimes even turn left or right. All one can do is march proudly forward, as if going straight will always lead to a desired destination. My goodness – do the people who plan these cities never make mistakes?

One mistake-ridden evening, after a long day, I pulled into the parking lot of a 7-11 to grab a drink, regroup, and turn around… again. As I pulled to the edge of the driveway to head out, I noticed a sign that said “No Left Turn” which, of course, was exactly the direction I needed to go. Exasperated by the commands of the unmerciful rule-makers and with a clear road before me, I decided to ignore the sign and make a left. It was not a second later that my lights hit the median, which I had been unable to see in the darkness. That large hunk of cement interfered with my goal of crossing the street and I had gone too far to change directions. So I found myself heading in the general direction I wanted to go, but doing it on the very wrong side of the street.

This could have turned out to be enormously bad for me and others, but I am happy to say it didn’t. I came across only a few confused cars that made way for the oncoming headlights. I finally found somewhere to pull off so I could start breathing again and then continue my adventure. I have no idea where I was going that night, but I must have made it one way or another… fortunately with my both my body and car in tact.

I’m happy to say that I now have a greater reverence for street signs. (Although on desperate days, even with a gps, I still ignore “no u-turn” signs.) But a bigger lesson hit my heart through this. I have often disregarded what has been intended as helpful instruction. I’ve ended up in dangerous, often life-threatening situations, as well as those that are just slightly compromised and inferior to the best choice. It turns out that boundaries aren’t just to deprive and frustrate, but to help and protect. Who knew?


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