Just Go the Other Way
By Jim Mitchell
I once made a laughably simple discovery that’s stuck with me decades later. I’m warning you: You’ll laugh too, until you try it.
At the time, I was driving a shuttle bus in the Dallas area to help pay for college. This was before mobile phones and GPS (if you can imagine such a world!), so drivers were provided printed maps instead.
Take time to read a printed map with a 15-passenger van full of hurried travelers? Ain’t nobody got time for that. So we handled navigation on the fly.
I began to notice two peculiar things about myself. First, as I approached important intersections I almost always had a gut instinct about which way to turn. And second, my gut instinct was virtually always wrong.
Seriously. Coming up on a key turn, I’d look to my left and see lots of neighborhood lights, then look to my right and see nothing but darkness or an empty-looking industrial area, and I’d think to myself, “Okay, it’s gotta be left.” So, I’d turn left, only to be corrected by a backseat driver.
Finally, it hit me. Why don’t I just always go the other way? I tried it. And it worked!
Yep, I warned you it was laughably simple. But it’s proven itself true so many times, not just in driving, but in relationships.
I guess I’m just good at being wrong, though not always at admitting it.
C.S. Lewis said it this way in Mere Christianity:
If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man … There is nothing progressive about being pigheaded and refusing to admit a mistake.
So, if you’re like me―good at being wrong―take advantage of it and go the other way. I’m telling you from experience, there’s no downside.
The good stuff: There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
Action points: Have yourself a good chuckle and try it this week. Find an intersection in your relationship, listen to your gut, and then go the other way. Thank me later.
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