Ever been trying to go somewhere, someplace in an area you aren’t completely familiar with and not sure which turn to take? You look at a map or use GPS. Maybe you speak with family or friends as you struggle with some of your decisions. Well, that is where I am right now facing a difficult decision. Which road should I take? I mentioned before that I had lost my parents and usually in such times I would talk with one or both of my parents and get their opinion/s. I was seeking guidance and help, just as I am now as I seek the Lord’s guidance as I make some difficult decisions. It got me to thinking, parents, family, friends are excellent sources of guidance. My parents had been through more life experiences and, despite what I thought as a teenager, were far smarter and wiser than I. I trusted their judgement, even when I was a “punk teenager” I valued their opinions. They were concerned about my best interests; they were USUALLY better than I was at considering the long term impact of actions. I say that because there have been a couple instances where, despite receiving input from them on decisions and, willingly or unwillingly, making my decision based on their opinions. You know how parents can be sometimes, they give you the option of listening to them or listening to them.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Matthew 24:4
As I was thinking about my parents and that they always looked out for me to the best of their abilities I remembered a few times they gave me less than the best advise. They were deceived. Honestly, those instances were rare, but they occasionally occurred. Now, I don’t think they did it intentionally, but it did happen. Thoughts being thoughts, going from point A to point B to point C, etc I found myself thinking about when I was going to buy my first car. I had a job and had saved more than enough to buy a car. No, I couldn’t go out and buy a new Corvette or even a Vega, I had enough to get a decent used car and still have funds to pay for license, insurance and such. I started looking in the newspaper, talking to people, paying attention as I went here and there, looking for cars with for sale signs on them and such. I found out about one car I was interested in. A buddy and I went to look at it and I liked it. Something about it just appealed to me. It wasn’t the fanciest car out there but it wasn’t a total beater either. The seller started it and it ran good. He wouldn’t let me and my friend test drive it but if I could come back with one of my parents later I could drive it then and he assured me he wouldn’t sell it until I had at least gotten back with my folks. That evening, told my parents about the car and my dad was going to go with me to look at it and drive it. We made the arrangements and checked it out. He was initially impressed with the car, not so much for the appearance but that it ran and drove well and seemed to have been maintained properly. My mom was less impressed. Something about it she didn’t like, it wasn’t a pretty color, it was sort of plain, the engine was pretty big (huge V8,) maybe too much power for my first car, and they didn’t know the people that were selling it. She didn’t think I should get that one. She and my dad spoke on it while we were driving home and while he had initially seemed in favor of it, changed his mind.
As we were driving home we passed a small, used car dealer. I commented on one car they had being nice. We pulled in and looked at it. My mom loved that car almost immediately. My dad walked around, opened the hood, checked the fluids, all the things one does when looking at cars. The dealer came out and started talking with them. Telling how nice the car was, how great it drove, etc. We have all dealt with salesman and how they never seem to have any negative things to say about what they are selling. He sort of sold me on it too. We took it for a drive, it seemed to run and drive ok. On way home and the next day we talked about the cars. Now, I wanted to first car, there was something about it, I WANTED it, something I couldn’t really put into words but still thought I should buy it. The second car was ok, it was a good looking car, ran good and was a couple hundred cheaper than the first one and at that time for me was quite a bit, so was a plus in my mind overall. And, the salesman had convinced me and my parents that the second car, the one he was selling, was much better, the salesman had done his job well. As discussion continued, I still wanted the first car, but they told me they really thought the second one was a better choice. Mechanically, they both seemed ok, and even though the first car was well cared for, it was a few years old and the paint was a little dull and some chips from rocks, etc. The second car had a great paint job, it was clean and shiny, the first one a little dirty. Parents being parents, after enough discussion they changed my mind for me and despite the fact I still wanted the first car more, I accepted their opinions and bought the second car.
I continued to hear favorable comments from my folks about the car, and the pride and excitement of having a car I started feeling, yeah, I do like this car. Unfortunately, after driving the car a short time I had a problem with the tail lights. As my dad and I were fixing that we discovered that there had been some wires spliced, perhaps a short burned a couple wires? Never found out for sure. Well, it was working now so ok, whatever, we sort of overlooked that issue, fixed the problem and went on. Then a couple weeks later the brakes started making a noise. Fixed that. As time progressed there were other things that came up. No huge issues, but issues. Then, despite it having looked like a nice car there were a couple cracks in the fender. Body putty and fiber glass had started to come loose. We had looked, but did not notice it. Oversight? Perhaps, but they had done a pretty decent job and where it was you couldn’t tell immediately unless you took the fender off. Hmmm, maybe there were more issues with the car than we thought. It had only been a couple months, so my dad went to talk to the dealer we bought it from who had assured he would take care of any issues. Unfortunately, his attitude apparently changed because he only sold cars as is and he wouldn’t fix it or refund the money. My dad got to checking on things, talked to more people and found out, despite what both he and my mom thought, this dealer was not so reputable and that he took shortcuts to make cars look and sound better, shortcuts that usually only were temporary fixes. My dad was pretty good at reading people, honestly both parents were, but sometimes, they were deceived. This was one of the few times. There I was, stuck with a car that I had kind of liked, that I had my parents telling me was a better choice for me, that now, we all knew wasn’t the case. I drove it a few more months, always some kind of issue, always something that needed fixed. Eventually after investing a lot of effort and money into that car it got to be too much and I just parked it.
I never heard about the other car. We had called the guy back and told him we weren’t interested so he sold it to someone else I guess. It would make the story better, well, give it more of an impact of I could say that, yeah, someone else bought it and drove it for years, they never had to invest any money in it. Such a fantastic car that the gas tank was always full and the oil never dirty. But, I don’t know. Shoot, it may have been every bit as bad as the one I bought, but I will never know. Although my dad and I were talking when repairing whatever issue on the car when he commented that he wished we had bought the first one we looked at. He wished that we had not been conned by the dealer.
Well, like I said, I think my parents were pretty savvy, pretty smart, and good at reading people and were good at giving me good advice, usually. And, while I did continue to value their advice, I did learn to scrutinize things better in the future for myself. Parents, and others are not infallible, sometimes they are deceived as well. Regardless of their best intentions they were deceived and gave me advice that wasn’t, in the long run in my best interests. Although I, and they, did learn a lesson so that in itself has value. In fact, after all was said and done, with the benefit of hindsight, my dad made the comment that sometimes, those that they had meant well, but I needed to realize that no one is perfect and no one is always right in the guidance they give. He was good about that, being honest, sometimes painfully so, even when it meant his own pride was bruised by it. He admitted he made mistakes at time and that, even though he meant well. He said, “Don’t forget this, remember, even the ones you trust the most will sometimes give you bad advice. Not because they mean to do it, but because they make mistakes.”
I remembered that, I remember it still, obviously or I wouldn’t be talking about it now. But, just thinking on all this makes me realize, sometimes I and the ones I really trust to look out for me make mistakes. They and I are human and humans can, and do make mistakes or are fooled. If those we trust most in our lives can make mistakes and give bad advice, then, who should we trust? That is obvious, Christ. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will always be there, He will always help show us the truth.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32
I am facing some significant decisions and as I consider how to proceed, some that I have confided in have told me one thing, one course of action to take, others say a different path. Which is the best path? That is the question I face. Who can I talk to in order to get guidance that is truthful? I suspect anyone reading this knows where I am going with this. Jesus will always give us the truth, He will always show us the right decision. All we have to do is be still, be quiet in our souls and listen to Him. Listen for that still small voice to give us the truth. There have been times, like when looking for my first car, that I did hear that still small voice, and went a different path. I should have listened. I should have gone with that subtle feeling I couldn’t explain, something inside that made me want that car. I didn’t. I learned a lesson. A lesson I know see had deeper meaning than I ever realized.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation: on thee do I wait all of the day. Psalms 25:5
I think it is time for me to pray more, to seek Him, to praise and honor Jesus’ holy name and give Him glory for all. I will ask Him to help me see the right decision, to see through any misleading information or advice. To seek the path that will best serve Him in my life. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I have asked God to bend things to my will, to my desire and now have a different perspective and attitude. I need to bend myself to His will and then, He will bless me and give me the answers I need and seek. I will trust Him to lead me to the truth. I will not try to hurry or rush His answer or guidance. I will talk with Him, try to be patient and quiet, to listen to the still small voice.
I am closing as I watch the sun rise. It is going to be a glorious day! How could it be differently with Christ at my side and in my heart? Well, such a thing could not be. Every day, even the most gloomy and overcast is glorious with Him.
I give Christ the glory and honor He so richly deserves. For being who He is, for His sacrifice for me. I am so unworthy and He still sacrificed Himself for me. Praise Him.
I pray He guide my thoughts, steps and actions today. That He remind me to be a vessel for Him. That I take to heart all He says to me. That I seek and consider others’ counsel and advice, but remember to listen to Him, to that still small voice He sometimes uses. I pray Lord that you keep my friends, family and loved ones safe, that you watch over them as you watch over me. Give us all the protection, comfort and guidance to live for You.
Thank you again for bearing with me as I process my thoughts. For some reason, writing them and then reading them helps me a lot. I hope that Christ guides my words so they help someone else that is facing similar circumstances.
I pray you all have a glorious day.