A number of years ago, a close friend and I (let’s call him Kurtis) drove from Northwest Colorado to Lamar for work-related training. Prior to leaving, we began an in-depth planning session and “meeting of the minds” so that our route to Lamar would allow us to stop and eat at the greatest number of Sonic Drive-ins possible (being big fans of Cherry Limeades and Cheese Tots and all). Our careful planning allowed us to stop at four — yes, four — different Sonics in seven hours. With our mission accomplished, we settled into several days of enjoyable training.
Our trip back from training involved zero planning, as we had overdosed on Sonic. I hopped in behind the wheel and Kurtis assumed the role of navigator. We decided that we would take a “shortcut” home instead of following our previous route. With Kurtis minding the map, I accelerated out of Lamar and followed his instructions. About an hour into our trip it became quite clear that we were lost. I turned to him and said, “Dude, we’re lost.” He reassured me that he had things under control. It was 30 minutes later when I knew for certain that we were lost. Again I mentioned our predicament to him. He thought about it briefly, rubbed his chin, looked around and then looked at his watch and said, “Sure, but we’re making great time!”
It can be eerily similar with each of us as far as the gospel goes. We so often intend to follow a good, well-planned, righteous path to our heavenly Father and eternal life, but then the wheels come off. We start to take the riskier path; the one filled with sin and challenges of our own doing, even though God already has mapped out the proper path for us. Before we know it, we have lost the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit to guide us and we are lost. We get stuck “in the thick of thin things” and tend to make poor choices when we allow Satan to influence us.
Proverbs 2:20 says, “That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep paths of the righteous.” Focusing less on “making great time” and more on following the right path takes us toward our Heavenly Father instead of away from him. By following God’s straight and narrow path, we can avoid becoming lost like Kurtis and I did. And in doing so, we can more readily overcome obstacles in our way and safely and efficiently find our way back to God and our savior, Jesus Christ.
Gerard Geis is from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.