A difficult task for most of us!
When you have taken a path and suddenly you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, it’s the WRONG way!
How on earth do you make it right?
When the words flow! And the lie grows bigger than the little white you intended…. How do you pull it back? Like a politician or a contrite sinner?
When you turn down a street, or end up in the wrong lane for the direction you needed to go…. How do you successfully make a U-Turn….
There are many who think you cannot pull back from the brink of a huge mistake… Their thinking agrees with a scripture from Solomon:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Pro 14:12 ESV)
This may be an Old Testament way of looking at all the history they had lived through, but in the New Testament, Paul gives us hope for a new and better direction.
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1Co 10:12-13 ESV)
There are probably a dozen things you should know, but let me share with you what I think are three most practical and positional ways to work yourself out of a wrong, and into a right.
Know the correct direction
Driving to Alaska from Texas many times, it seems I always get turned around in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada… Since this is on the North America continent, and you basically know which way to go, one would think that following the road signs would point you subtly into the right direction.
After all, Alaska in North and West of Houston! Right?
Nearly every time in Edmonton, my internal gyroscope and compass demands me to follow that NW trend and go that way, but the road signs and maps point me due East… EAST! Not West, with a Northerly slant!
If you are following a mapping system, there are times you have to take your head out of the equation and simply follow directions. Most people lost in the woods keep making large circles and end up in the place they started…
You need to know the right direction! If you do not know, then you need to know to ask! And you need to know who to ask! Not any ol’ person will do….
Be Honest about your mistake
There is a current situation about a woman in Spokane, WA, who has been living her “white” life as a “black” person. When finally confronted by a reporter and a camera, she stumbled in her answers. It was obvious she had the “deer in headlight” look and could not quickly, or accurately, respond.
When caught, admit quickly… If not publicly, then at least mentally… Honesty and truthfulness should begin with yourself! This lady spent the weekend dodging questions from all over, not just at home. Finally, after a tough three day weekend, her personal answers started making her position known.
Politicians seem to have a language of their own, and never seem to know how to own up to a mistake. Not being honest generally causes your pit to be dug deeper by yourself, and those who are confronting.
Know what must be done next
I was behind a driver the other day, obviously lost, distracted (talking on a phone) and driving erratically. Weaving, braking, speeding up… A dangerous position for all concerned. Finally, this driver made a decision to act, and simply turned across three lanes of traffic into a parking lot – all without one single glance at the traffic surrounding him.
It was a blessing that he hit no one, and no one was hurt in his transaction.
But we all wanted to tell him what he should do next! Right? GET OFF THE ROAD!
Most times, the next step must be done succinctly and safely.
When learning to fly, and right before my flight exam, my instructor had me put on a hood and close my eyes. With my hands and feet off the controls, he would proceed to fly the plane erratically . Up. Down. Side ways. Fast adjustments. All with the intent of leaving me disoriented. Then, he would pass control of the plane to me. Without seeing my horizon, I must depend upon what the instruments were telling me, and successfully return the plane to normal flying conditions.
Multiple practice attempts at this finally got me to realize that sequence of events required to return to normal flying.
Sometimes you can never return to normal conditions. Your new normal requires you to adjust to a new reality. A successful U Turn might seem to be the required move, but your wrong actions may have left a path of devastation. You may not be able to return to “normal”…. But headed the right direction is always the way we need to think about where we are going, when we are wrong….
Something to think about!