During the so-called petrol crisis which was particularly prevalent in England a few years ago, I remember a TV interview with a tanker driver. He told the news reporter that on one occasion he had become aware of a convoy of cars beginning to form up behind his vehicle. When his journey came to an end after many miles the car drivers pulled up behind him. 'Which petrol station are you going to', shouted one of the car drivers. 'But I don't need fuel', was his rather puzzled reply. Similarly confused the car drivers questioned him further... only to discover that the tanker hadn't been carrying much sought-after petrol at all. It was transporting mortar!
But as the irate and greatly disgruntled car drivers went off to search for fuel elsewhere, one of them, as a parting shot, shouted to the tanker man, 'Why didn't you tell us?'
And of course this got me thinking about directions and destinations in life and death.
TAKING THE WRONG ROUTE
I can't help wondering just how many of those known to me are journeying through life blissfully unaware that they're going in the wrong direction? If they're ignoring or rejecting the priceless message of the gospel... the gracious reconciling invitation of a loving God... then they're following the wrong God, and submitting to his power over them without realising it...
'The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.'
2 Corinthians 4:4
On the other hand, the Lord Jesus Christ says to us all...
'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.'
But then it's so easy isn't it... to follow our own natural instincts and to be seduced by the fine-sounding influential words of others, especially in a day when we're forever being told to believe in ourselves. It seems we're constantly being told that self-belief is the way to achievement, success and fulfilment. Whilst all the time God is warning us that...
'There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.'
REACHING THE WRONG DESTINATION
The tanker man was asked by the car drivers why he hadn't told them they'd been heading in the wrong direction. Through their misunderstanding and making a wrong assumption they ended up at the wrong destination. And of course the same principle applies to life. If you're a follower of Jesus you'll realise just how many of those round about us are stumbling their way through life. So many are headed in the wrong direction, only to end up at the wrong destination... judgement, condemnation and hell. Yet God has given those of us who are His followers a wonderful privilege, yet a most serious responsibility...
'...he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.'
2 Corinthians 5: 19-20
I just hope that on the Day of Judgement no-one will say to me, 'Why didn't you tell me?