On one of the more memorable truck driving trips I took with the school district came in the fall of 2011. I drove the high school’s band to the famed Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, TX (remember “Friday Night Lights”?). At the end of a long Saturday, I set out for the hotel a few miles down the road in Midland. For reasons I still cannot explain, I made a wrong turn at a key intersection. The road was right. At issue was the direction; I was headed the wrong way.
The right way is important, isn’t it?
I was reminded of this truth as I stumbled upon a familiar Psalm. It happened to be the first Psalm. [Need a quick refresher of Psalm 1? Click me.]
What a way to open the Psalms! The writer has framed life to irreducible complexity.
There are two ways to live life:
we can choose to live it…
…God’s way or…
For those who choose to live life God’s way, this Psalm holds out tremendous hope. This man’s life produces continual fruit; he is prosperous; his soul is well nourished, making him cable of providing comfort to those under his care. He has a sense of security, dignity and purpose. Most importantly, this man has the promise of the Lord’s protection on the day of judgment, and will one day join in the assembly of the righteous.
But for those who choose to live life their own way, this Psalm casts a rather luminous shadow of what lies just around the bend. Such persons do the things the blessed man does not, and not the things the blessed man does. Consequently, the outcome of the wicked cannot be like the outcome of the blessed man. The wicked man is like chaff, detached from its life-source, dried out, insecure, without meaning, purpose, or direction. He is at the mercy of the wind. Worse, he is without the protection of the Lord; and, therefore, will not be able to withstand the Lord’s judgment.
The writer puts the reader at a key intersection, doesn’t he? He’s saying,
“Here’s your options, friend! Let me show you the destination of each path. You can evaluate each; you can make your call, but you cannot choose your outcome – they have already been chosen for you.”
Which way have you been living?
Which way will you continue to live?
So, how did I correct my mistake on that late Saturday afternoon? Well, I had to turn around, but I couldn’t wait for the next intersection – west Texas is pretty desolate! So I performed a three-point turn on a two lane highway with a 53’ trailer and a Freightliner Columbia, tandem-axle day-cab — a feat I’m mildly proud of!
The point is if you’ve been living your life for yourself, it’s not too late. Pray, and ask the Lord, to help you get pointed in the right direction!
One road. Two ways.
Choose well, fellow traveler!
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and who leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watchers over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Thanks! Take me back to the top.