Wrong House

by | Mar 25, 2022 | Bible, Direction

Back in the early 1960s, I often took on odd jobs in Portland, Oregon, USA, where I was a student. One day, my assignment was at an address in an affluent suburb. The door would be unlocked — those were innocent days. I was to tidy the house and hand out a snack when the children came home from school.

A city bus got me there early. But when I went inside the lovely home, there wasn’t a hair out of place. Everything was polished and gleaming. Worried, I stepped back outside to look at the street sign, only to find that I had gone east rather than west! I was standing in the doorway of the wrong house!

Terrified of neighbours calling the authorities, I rushed down the street and caught the bus that I’d come on, going in the other direction. Soon, I was at the same address but in the opposite end of town — an equally nice suburb in the west end.

I went timidly up a well-kept walk and tried the door, which opened into a living room where substantial mayhem seemed to have gone on. It was clean underneath, but messy with books and jackets, boots and shoes, everything higgledy-piggledy! This was more like it! I bustled around, setting things to rights. Less than an hour later, three exuberant children came crashing into the order that I’d restored, but before they could do much damage, a parent turned up and paid me.

Both homes at either end of town had a lot in common: neighbourhoods, children, and architecture, not to mention the utter confidence to leave their doors unlocked so that a stranger could get in. Nobody seemed to have thought that anyone would take advantage of such a situation.

When all else fails, follow directions, someone advised. But my habit was not paying attention to the ones that I was given. This has resulted in catastrophe more than somewhat. Fortunately for our lives, the Bible, being the guidebook that it is, contains all the directions that we ever need to live a life of peace and happiness.

Do we accept that it is God alone Who knows the way that our day should take? Do we begin each new day with a prayer to be shown what that way is?

“Lead me in the way everlasting.”

(Psalm 139:24b NIV 2011)

“Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”

(Jeremiah 10:23 NIV 2011)

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

(2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV 2011)

I am in the “right house” now, as I daily turn my life over to follow God’s direction, starting with, “I can’t handle it, God. You take over!” Every day is a day for us all to ask to be shown the way and then to go forward in confidence, knowing that Jesus said, “I am the way.”

Prayer: Dear God of our lives, guide us pilgrims through this world in which we are strangers. Hear our voices in the morning, and enable us to walk in the way that You direct. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Copyright © 2022, by Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission


Wrong House