The young married man confided in his more mature friend, “My wife is upset with me because she said that I don’t listen to her when she talks to me.”
“Heed the voice of experience,” his friend replied. “It took me 24 1/2 years of marriage to figure that one out.”
“Well, how long have you been married?” asked the young man.
24 1/2 years.” answered his friend.
My wife and I waited at the designated meeting place for more than an hour. Eventually, the couple did arrive. The husband told us of a wild and grueling adventure he and his wife had trying to locate us as they drove for miles and miles in the wrong direction. His wife mumbled something about, “He doesn’t listen…”
I was back on Olvera St; this time with my wife, where we were to meet a younger couple at 1:00 PM. My friend and I had plans to paint en plein air while our wives went shopping, then we were going to join them and have lunch at one of the restaurants.
When he had finished recounting their experience, I knew that he simply had not paid careful attention to the directions I had given. However, despite my instructions and his wife’s ‘admonishing’, only when it dawned on him personally that he was lost did he change his mind…then turn around to go in the right direction.
Not 2 Proud 2 Listen
Do you suppose that we sometimes fail to hear carefully when God gives direction for our lives? Have you ever traveled for many years in the wrong direction in your pursuit of God just certain that He would be ‘there’ when you arrived. The further you traveled, the fewer signs you saw on the roadside of life that you was any closer to Him. Finally, heeding the advise of someone close to you who had been telling you about Jesus, you listened, turned around, and there He was. One might think that you would have to retrace your steps over the many rugged miles and weary years to get back to God; but He was right there all the time waiting for you to change your mind and your direction.
When Jesus began His ministry after His temptation in the wilderness, the first sermon He preached was, “Repent” (which means to change ones mind by turning from sin and turning to God). Matthew 4:17 puts it this way: From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Also in Mark 1:15, Jesus says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the gospel.”
Jesus is still calling the world today to repent …’change your mind…turn around and follow Me’ (Matthew 5:19). If you do that, Jesus guarantees that you will not be lost. (Luke 19:10)