Staying Between The Lines

roadHave you ever been driving along on a highway and something distracted you enough that you veered off to the side of the road? In such a time, were there those cuts in the asphalt that resulted in a loud rattling sound when your tires ran over them? That noise shook your attention to get back to the road and you were able to make the correction to the left or the right and stay on course.

Keeping it between the ditches isn’t always easy. There are temptations, traps and tragedy to the left and to the right and as much as we want to avoid those things, there are times that we drift. We need some kind of cuts in the asphalt to alert us and allow us to steer back to the middle. Nothing good happens in the ditch.

While there are plenty of drastic consequences that can be immediately evident in the ditch, the subtle drift without a drastic impact can be just as devastating over time. The cause and effect of bad choices can bring immediate trouble but the gradual pull of a heart that believes lies and wanders into darkness is just as consequential over time. In fact, it’s usually the incremental pull that puts us in the ditch more than it’s a hard left or hard right turn.

I’ve noticed two extremes of my heart condition that can create problems for me. To my left and to my right are:

  1. Pride – thinking that I’m really pretty unique and getting it done rather than recognizing the grace, gifts and favor of God in my life.
  2. Fear – fear of man, fear of failure, and other fears tempt belief that I need to try harder or resign myself to certain compromised positions.

If I get stuck in either ditch, the journey stalls. I’m not moving forward from either of these places. Neither of these ditches are immediately evident to everyone around me, as they are nurtured in the darkness of a soul that is in need of redemption.

There are two ways to stay out of the ditches, as far as I can tell. To keep it on the road, we need to consistently choose the following:

  1. Change our minds: stop agreeing with the lure of the lies that resonate from the ditch to believe Truth in such a way that it steers our choices.
  2. Keep your eyes on the road: Jesus says that He is the way, the truth and the life. Keep things focused on Him when the enemy calls to our weaknesses and press the gas towards His promises.

We all hit the ditches every now and then. Hopefully, over time and in a journey that is hand in hand with Jesus, those times are less frequent as we mature. No matter where we are on the road towards our destiny, however, He is able to direct us back onto the course if we’re willing to allow for course correction when necessary.

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