Essential U-Turns

Our girlfriend reunion in Seattle was fantastic.

We spent our days enjoying the sights of Seattle and its surroundings, shopping, taking in beautiful landscapes and seascapes, eating out and cooking in, but mostly just happy to be doing it all together.

Perfect.

Well, almost perfect.  The weekend itself was fabulous in every way, but the surrounding travel earned it an almost modifier.

U-Turns on the Road

The text message I sent to my husband on Thursday morning will give you the idea: “Arrived, got the car, made four u-turns, and we’re now waiting for Beth’s late luggage.” 

I am no stranger to u-turns, being severely directionally challenged, and since I was the renter/driver of our second vehicle, I expected to make them freely.  Happens all the time.  (Really.)

As usual, I made more than my share of u-turns, but I learned the most from the one I should have made.

Having retrieved all of our travelers and their  bags, we spent the afternoon in Seattle.  Our last stop, before heading across the water to our weekend home, was at Pike’s Market which boasts tantalizing displays of fresh produce, flowers and fish.

As we left the market, our hostess for the weekend, a Seattle resident, instructed us to make a u-turn for the quickest route to the ferry.  For unknown reasons, I did not take her advice.  Instead, we figured we’d just go over one block over and follow a parallel road to the ferry…along with hundreds of other people inching through traffic lights.

The other car, having done the recommended u-turn, was happily in line for the ferry while we sat in traffic preparing ourselves for a tedious wait for a later ferry.  Mercifully and miraculously, we were one of the last cars to drive on to the ferry.  We made it, but the u-turn would have been much less stressful.

U-Turns in Life

U-turns are handy on the road, but they are absolutely essential in life.  Who hasn’t set out in an unwise direction in the course of a life?  Who hasn’t realized, now and then, that a one-eighty is necessary to change an unhealthy attitude, thinking pattern or behavior?

When we’re going the wrong way, the smartest thing to do is to simply turn around. 

The biblical word for a life u-turn is repent.  It means to do an about-face, to go in the opposite direction.

Perhaps the most poignant biblical picture of a life u-turn is the parable we call The Prodigal Son.  Jesus told the famous story of a selfish and irresponsible son who took off with his inheritance and squandered it all.  One day, the young man woke up in pig slop and realized that he had gone the wrong way in life.  So he wisely turned around.

His father, who constantly hoped for his return, welcomed him home with an embrace and a celebration.

The entire human race, left to its own devices, is going and will continue to go in a direction away from God.  It’s the wrong way.  The Bible is the story of God’s invitation to do a u-turn, to walk with Him instead of away from Him.  He is the Father who invites us back into his loving and welcoming arms, even if we’ve lived in some very wrong directions.

One Final U-Turn

Back in Seattle, our home bound trips began early Sunday morning.  Amazingly we arrived at the airport without incident and hugged each other as we peeled off toward different terminals.  We who were headed home to Chicago glanced at the flight monitors to see that our non-stop flight was on time.  Excellent.

However, by the time we made our way through security and strolled to our gate, our flight had been cancelled.  Not so excellent.  After phone calls and an hour or so in a customer service line, we were re-booked on another airline through Minneapolis to Chicago.

My final text to the group from the airport in Minneapolis was “One last u-turn!” LOL!

We all arrived safely home.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…”  Acts 3:19

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About Judy

At heart I am a student of truth, an observer of culture, and a communicator. Jesus is my teacher and my Lord. In pursuit of these passions, I read as much as I can, serve as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group, and write a blog in an attempt to synthesize it all. I take great delight in my relationships with family and friends, and I also enjoy long walks, bike rides and cooking. And did I mention that I like to read?
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16 Responses to Essential U-Turns

  1. I loved the U-turn for the Prodigal Son.
    But I’ve always considered the “untold, waiting story” of the brother who had stayed but now faced the celebration welcoming the return of the vagabond brother. I think that he, too, also faced a sudden U-turn in his life.
    Life is full of the unexpected, twisty turns that change us and send us down different paths.

  2. Caddo Veil says:

    I love all of this, Judy!! And I’m especially fond of any “quirks” story–mostly I’m just thrilled to be back here today (and praying I don’t go to spam!). God bless you Big–love, sis Caddo

  3. pbus1 says:

    I enjoyed reading about your wonderful “Sisterhood.” The way you linked biblical truth in your post was very clever. God bless you!

    Paulette

  4. Love the Spiritual message in this! “The biblical word for a life u-turn is repent.” So true!! God is good!

  5. KJ Lange says:

    Through the years, we have made many U-turns together. (My Hilltop sisters have often been the people with neon vests on directing the move.) On this trip, even when we went to Port Townsend as we drove through the downtown area, I laughed in our car, “I’m purposely doing this U-turn just so we can say we had on in Port Townsend.” This U-turn served as a way of seeing the downtown and sea vistas from town before we U-turned and headed over to Fort Worden for a picnic lunch.
    Think of what our U-turns would have been like before wireless navigation and cell phones?
    We would have been sitting and wondering and waiting. And sometimes that’s not so bad either. Great insight. Amazing how God shows up in all our movements.

    • Judy says:

      I think we said the same thing in our car in Port Townsend, that It was just time for a u- turn! They make for much more…ahem…interesting travel:) It is amazing that God gets us exactly where he wants us no matter what. Thanks KJ!

  6. branchl77 says:

    Yes u-turns and repentance are a good thing. It means we are aware of the path we are travling and it means we are humble and willing to make corrections in our lives. Great post!

  7. Beth Foreman says:

    Wonderful connections, Judy. I see a full-length book on U-turns . . .

  8. Peggy Nolte says:

    Loved this! Thanks Emma!

  9. Linda Ostrand says:

    Judy, thanks for your story!

    My greatest u-turns are daily and they happen every time I realize and walk back to our Lord… How do we get so far from Him so quickly? Thankfully, He welcomes us back without a second thought. So many blessings…

    Glad you had a great trip and have a continued wonderful summer!
    Linda

  10. Larry Who says:

    “…I am no stranger to u-turns, being severely directionally challenged, and since I was the renter/driver of our second vehicle, I expected to make them freely. Happens all the time. (Really.)…”

    I have more than enough quirks myself. So, I enjoy when others explain their quirks and are able to laugh at them.

    Yours made for a good story.

    • Judy says:

      What fun are quirks if we can’t laugh about them? Glad you enjoyed the story. Coming from an accomplished story teller such as yourself, it means a lot!
      Thanks Larry.

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