Sense of Direction (Hebrews 3:12)

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12)

Last week I spent an interminable morning attempting to kill time while Penny attended a cheese-making class. There’s not much going on in Oologah, Oklahoma at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. When I wasn’t shopping the wonders of the largest convenience store in Oologah or reading in a McDonald’s in nearby Claremont, I did far too much driving around on country roads. Without a map, I risked life, limb, and well-being as I drove down county road 4060 and traveled along road 390.

Some people might have been worried about getting lost among those various twists and turns. I, on the other hand, have been granted an almost superhuman sense of direction, making it next to impossible for me to get lost. As I explored the various streets of Claremont, locating the post office and passing the gun museum (complete with a tank out front), I always knew which way to turn in order to head back toward the Will Rogers Memorial and, ultimately, my cheese-making bride.

To some degree, my odyssey in northeast Oklahoma resembles my spiritual reality. Just as I wound my way around corners in Claremont, I find myself aimed all sorts of directions when it comes to my attitude toward God. The big difference, however, is that I seem to turn away from God without ever realizing it. I’ll be headed in a spiritual north direction only to look up and find myself headed south-southeast or west-southwest. What’s up with that? I never do that in the car, but in following God it seems to happen constantly.

Happily, I always seem to know which way to turn in order to head back in the right direction. That’s good news, but I’m not sure if I wouldn’t feel more excused if I didn’t know. How can we as believers turn away from God so quickly, so often? We have the road atlas and the Holy Spirit’s GPS, yet still we find ourselves headed in the wrong direction. All I can suggest is that we keep our eyes on the road.