The Wrong Way on a One Way Street

Have you ever found yourself driving in the wrong direction on a one way street? It’s never happened to me that I can recall, but I can imagine that it would be somewhat of a distressing adventure! The hubby did it once on purpose. A few years back, we had stopped at the border for a quick snack before heading down to the U.S. when we noticed the traffic heading over the bridge was very backed up. We were hoping to fill up the gas tank south of the border expecting the prices would be cheaper. The fuel marker was almost on empty. We debated the gamble. Should we wait in traffic running the risk of stalling in the middle of the highway, or do we get gas in Canada and pay the price? News reports were saying the hold ups would take hours. Canadian gas it was…

Canadian Traffic jams are a definite thing.

As the family and I sipped our Timmies, the hubby went off to ask where the nearest gas station was. I should have known when he comes back a short time later with a “just stay here with the kids until I get back” statement and the look of “just don’t ask questions, okay?” glare in his eye. As it turns out, we were “past the point of no return” in the world of borders and duty free shopping … and there was no way of “going back” to the nearest gas station… unless… yup, you guessed it … a quick detour down the one way street against oncoming traffic to the next local turn off. I’m glad I was not witness to the acutely distressing (not to mention law breaking) act of going the wrong direction on a one way street! He didn’t tell me until some time later… after his survival and a full tank of gas.

So why do I bring up my husband’s misdemeanors for this post? I was reminded this week about the concept of repentance. I’m sure many of you have heard that true, biblical repentance means doing a “full turn around” from going in one direction to making the decision to go in exactly the opposite direction. Perhaps we think of this in much too simple terms… “oops, sorry God, I’ve sinned against you, gotta switch gears and ‘do better’ next time.” Yet, true repentance is really hard. It involves humbling yourself. It involves a broken heart and true sorrow. It’s scary and not always easy. It’s like going down that one way road that we’ve been sailing along on, only to turn in the opposite direction — and face the on coming obstacles heading straight for us! And you know there will be opposition when you are trying to do the right thing…

Many of the biblical time prophets spoke of this repentance. Their cries were for revival and change. They spoke of the doom and destruction that was to come if the people of the land refused to repent and turn back to God:

11 The Lord thunders
    at the head of his army;
his forces are beyond number,
    and mighty is the army that obeys his command.
The day of the Lord is great;
    it is dreadful.
    Who can endure it?

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
    and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
    for the Lord your God.

Joel 2:11-14 NIV

Many folks showed “outward signs” of repentance… the tearing of clothes, the sitting in ashes, the presentation of sacrifices… still, God reminded them (and us!) that true repentance takes place in the heart, not in the rendering of garments. When heart changes happen, God blesses and is merciful. It’s so true, even today, our world is in need of real revival and a return to God. Our societies have travelled so far from His teachings, that we are going to need some major construction to happen on those one way streets before we all get going the right direction!

Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

Well. How you feelin’ my friend? Is there a heart change you need to make? Do you need to experience the thrill of changing direction on that one way street you’ve been stuck on? Will the gas tank go empty if you don’t? May you find the courage to take the risk… and make a change of heart! Be blessed!

Faith Journey

Do you have a favourite car? I’m not a big car buff, so as long as the vehicle gets me from A to B safely, I’m happy. The eldest and I were chatting about cars recently — she wants a mini cooper. She has yet to get her driver’s license, and is nervous about driving, so thinks a cooper will be “safe” and easy to maneuver. The youngest wants a big truck for the same reasons. So many vehicles out there on the roads. So many choices for travelling. So many arguments and thoughts about what brand, what qualifications, what this, what that. Fuel mileage. Safety features. Electric?

Photo via the Car Connection

Remember the good old days where you shoved all your kids in the back of a big ol’ wood paneled station wagon and went “road tripping”? Seat belts? Not a thing. Car seats, ha! (Not that I am condoning such reckless behaviour…buckle up, people!) Yet, you understand, right? The ultimate road trip was fun. It was exciting to see who would barf first, or get all the alphabet letters in license plate guessing games. And trips back then were screen free! How did we ever survive?? How did our parents survive? And who was in charge of the map? A paper map… that had to be folded back together….

If you’ve followed along at mittonmusings.com for any length of time, you’ve certainly noticed our references to our “faith journeys” or our “spiritual journeys”. Maybe you are wondering what exactly that means. It’s what I’ve been thinking about recently as well. And there is no simple answer. Let’s start with the word “journey”. The simplest definition is this:

“an act of traveling from one place to another” or

“a long and often difficult process of personal change and development”

Oxford online dictionary

Those two statements may not be as simple as they appear. Journeys involve ups and downs and backwards and forwards. Not to mention pit stops along the way. “Faith” adds a deeper and even more complex thought to the definition. Faith in what? Faith in whom? Then we can chat about how does that faith affect the life choices you make on the journey? Spirituality can mean something quite different. I believe humans are intensely spiritual beings. We’ve been designed that way. Consequently, our world is relatively open to “spiritual” things these days. It’s when we draw lines and point fingers that things get complicated. No one wants to be intolerant. And I’m not talking about “church” or “religious beliefs”. Although they certainly play a role in the journey.

Let’s break it down a little more. A road trip begins and ends. There is a point A and a point B. How you get to point B from point A is up to you…. you can take the scenic route up the mountain and through the valleys, or straight across the highway. But the journey always starts with choices. Who or what will be the master of the journey? Who will be in the driver’s seat? Who will you trust to get you to your final destination and where will that be? The crew here at mittonmusings, hopes that driver will be the Christ of the living Bible. It’s who we’ve chosen to be in the driver’s seat of our spiritual journeys that will one day unite us with Him in Heaven. He’s our point A and Heaven is our point B. The Bible is our map and we are making stops along the way to share the experience with you! Are you ready to start the journey? Share with us! Follow along as we chat each week about our journey. And maybe a little bit about our favourite cars!