When to turn around

By Pastor Shane

A few months ago my 80 gig Ipod went on the fritz. It was one of the old school models that had the square screen and that tracking wheel that seems impossible to get to work right. I tried my hand at repairing it myself but after a substantial amount of time and money I discovered that the best course of action was to send it off to have it repaired. I jumped online and found the most reputable company I could find and began packing it up to send it away. My wife walked in and saw what I was doing and suggested that I should just let it die and get a new one… But it had thousands of songs and videos from several computers and trying to get all of that back was far too arduous of a task to even consider. So I sent the Ipod away and received it back in about a week with 70% of the files on it corrupted and irretrievable. So now I am well over the cost of a new Ipod and have in my possession a nice paperweight that, if I’m lucky, can maybe play a tune every now and then.

Life is often a lot like this story in that we have a hard time knowing when it is time to rethink decisions that we make. We make poor choices and instead of abandoning them we continue to try and work out positive solutions while still wandering down a bad path. The result from such efforts is a leaning tower of Pisa existence that becomes an icon for a lack of prudence. In scripture we come across many stories that fit this bill, however one of the more obscure accounts is found in 2 Chronicles 25:6-9. King Amaziah had conscripted fighting men form Israel for a hundred talents of silver to help him to wage a battle against his enemies. However, a prophet warns him not to align himself with the Israelites because they had rejected the ways of the Lord. The king essentially responds but what do I do about the money I have already spent, as if to say, “I have so much invested already that I can’t turn back now. Here the prophet’s words are very important. “The Lord can give you much more than that” or to put it another way stop sending good money after bad because the fastest track to success is being on God’s path for your life (2 Chor. 25:9). The king decided to send the Israelites home with his money and easily won the battle that was ahead of him with what he deemed as an insufficient amount of fighters.

The lesson is this; God can take our insufficiency no matter how small we think it is and make it more than enough. God can stretch our efforts and bring great benefit from walking in His ways. Yet often in life we feel like we have gone so far down a path that to try a different route would be too costly. We invest in bad business ventures, poor friendships, time constraining work habits and so many other poor choices that ultimately quell the good that God intends concerning us. The net result is our ruin and displays an unsightliness of our lack of prudence to those around us. The lesson we glean from the first part of Amaziah’s life is that no amount of time, money, or effort is worth persisting down the wrong path. What paths are you on that may not be God’s best for your life?

This question is a difficult one and must be accompanied with some soul searching and a willingness to turn around, but the great that God intends concerning us mandates such a question. The prophet Jeremiah asserts in 29:11 that God’s intention is “to prosper you… and to give you a hope and a future.” His plans for you are good, so why not try it His way.