"Once you've passed the fire house, take the next sharp left. It's not real easy to see; so watch for it. Then you'll spot the building about a quarter mile down that road."
I listened as my dad gave directions to someone over the phone. The house my mom and dad shared the last eight years of her life sits a half mile off the main road which is five miles from the nearest distinguishable landmark.
Giving clear directions that far back in the sticks is an art form! It's usually better to have people wait at the final crossroads and go get them.
This past weekend, Frank and I made a second fourteen hour round trip drive in one month to check on my dad. He had a serious health scare the first part of July and I went up then to join my sister.
Frank wanted to verify for himself the reports that Dad is doing better now. (Although, the new medication has slowed him down some. Which causes considerable chaffing with his active life-style.)
I sat praying for my dad this morning and could hear him again giving those directions.
Because words and phrases intrigue me (inordinately), I started thinking how interesting that he always says, ".....a sharp left." Or ".....a hard right."
Is that as opposed to a "dull, meandering left" or a "softly bending right"? (I have a point with this, promise!)
The thought drifted through my mind that I'm extremely grateful for the "sharp lefts" and "hard rights" that God has directed me through in life.
Times when we were headed in one direction but the best route meant taking a sharp left; putting our feet on an entirely different path.
Leaving Asheville, NC was one of those times for us.
After nine years of wonderful ministry with an amazing team of people, we sensed a crossroads approaching. Life was rolling at an extremely brisk pace and a left turn at that speed wouldn't be easy. But we knew it was necessary.
So we packed up our little tribe (Meagan was only five years old) and moved to Ocean Isle, NC to pioneer a church. We left everything comfortable, safe, familiar and careened around that sharp left turn into a new life.
Nothing about the next six years was easy as we pioneered that church - but it was right!
Another sharp left came for us when we decided to follow a dream and become evangelists. Admittedly, when we first started down that road, I thought this would only be a jaunt. It morphed into a calling that continues to impact our lives even now.
That sharp left eventually led us to Garden Grove Church! Did I mention that I'm thankful for the sharp left turns God has sovereignly woven into our life journey?
Not all the sharp lefts and hard rights have been easy to spot. We've had to slow down a bit; watch for them. I wonder if there are turns I've blown right past. Hmmmmm.
Frank and I are currently praying for a young man who has chosen to take a sharp left turn. It's proving to be an uphill run for him. And just like every Olympian, he deserves to have people cheering his efforts from the stands.
Maybe you too sense a "crossroads" approaching in your journey. Slow down; watch for it; take that sharp left turn! You'll spot the place you're searching for about a quarter mile down that road.
It may not be easy - but it'll be right!