One memorable journey home from France started with a wrong turn, with us on the motorway heading south instead of north. My father was unwilling to admit he had made a mistake, and we watched in alarm as place names appeared on signs that were further away from our destination than when we had started.
Eventually, after about 30 minutes (a long time when travelling at 70 mph), my father admitted his mistake by leaving the motorway and turning around, heading north and eventually we reached our destination (Calais) safely – delayed, but still able to catch our ferry home.
This journey became, for me, a symbol of repentance. My father was stubborn and didn’t want to admit that he had made a mistake. Even though we told him within five minutes that we were going the wrong way, he refused to listen for some time and accept that the only way to rectify the mistake was to turn around and go in the opposite direction.
We too can be like this. We hear the gospel message, the call from others that a life without God is headed in the wrong direction, but we think we can find other ways to reach our destination. God’s ways are stark, uncompromising; there is only one way to the Father, and that is through His Son, Jesus. (John 14:6) We turn deaf ears to those who plead for us to return to God.
But there is no way to God that does not involve a complete U-turn, an acknowledgment of the error of our ways (sin), a trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the only way to be reconciled to God and a turning back to God in repentance which puts us back on the right road, the narrow path that leads to eternal life. (Matt 7:13-14)
To be converted to Christ means a radical change in direction, a different way of living entirely. It’s not easy to admit we’ve been heading in the wrong direction, that materialism, selfishness, hedonism or even ‘good works’ aren’t enough to get us to the right destination. But only when we repent and turn to God can we be saved and can arrive safely at the presence of God.
Don’t let stubborn pride stop you from turning around today.