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.
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.
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