Perform a U-Turn


I believe that one of the greatest inventions of all time is the Sat-Nav.  I tend to do a fair amount of driving and the Sat-Nav has proved invaluable in getting me from point A to point B in an efficient and quick manner.  I remember the good old days when you had to get the map out and plan your route to unfamiliar places well in advance.  With the Sat-Nav I jump into the car, program the post code and off we go.

I do, however, have a little grumble from time to time with my Sat-Nav.  Sometimes, I know the general route it’s the finding my specific destination that causes the trouble.  I program in my destination and then I drive the route I prefer wanting my Sat-Nav to guide me in the city or town of the address.  If I go one way, sometimes the Sat-Nav wants to take me another direction and the little voice chimes out;

“perform a u turn when possible”

My response to this voice is often to argue with it (I know it cannot hear me but, I still argue).  I know the general route, I have driven this before, I know the roads I like and the one’s I don’t.  Why not give me helpful advice when I need it?  Still the Sat-Nav keeps on;

“perform a u turn when possible”

I heard that same voice today as I spent some time in prayer and with the Bible.  As it is Ash Wednesday, the passage chosen was the traditional passage from Joel 2;

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

(Joel 2 vs. 12)

If I was to paraphrase this verse, I would translate it as “perform a u turn”.  Instead of arguing this time, I realised I needed to listen to this instruction.

Let me explain why.

It dawned on me yesterday that I have been very distracted of late. There are lots of reasons I could trot out at this point but, they would just be poor excuses. 

The phrase that I have heard some people use is “I have a monkey mind”.  I could relate to that. 

I sit down for my quiet time and thoughts are popping into my head and instead of focussing on what I am doing, I am scanning the bookshelves for that volume I put somewhere safe because it would come in handy one day.  Within a couple of minutes, I am working on something else, checking emails and I am not paying any attention to what I started out doing. 

I have even found I was having a conversation, and find I am not concentrating on what somebody else is saying because my mind elsewhere.  Goodness only knows what I have agreed to do because, I haven’t got a clue.  My mind was on other things.

This morning, through the prophet Joel I heard God say;

Perform a u turn and seek me with an undivided heart.  Focus on what you should be doing not on the things you shouldn’t.

(Joel 2 vs. 12 – my paraphrase)


Perhaps there is something we can all learn from this.  Do you need to make a u turn?

5 thoughts on “Perform a U-Turn

  1. Wise words, O mighty one with monkey mind!
    I have found attending a Christian Medication Group a good discipline. About 10-12 of us gather at 3p.m. in a Community Centre in the centre of Easingwold and sitting in silence with a mantra to repeat is very calming. Strangely, doing this together you become more aware of each other in fellowship!

    1. We have introduced Ignatian Meditation in our fellowship now which has proved to be a real blessing. On my sabbatical next year, I am hoping to develop my understanding of Christian Meditation. Perhaps I will have to come and see your group in action (or lack of action!)

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