Summary: I am intrigued by the unwillingness of lost men to ask for directions. It is a complaint so common it is a frequent subject of jokes and TV comedies. Almost every woman has a story about a man who drove around for hours looking for someplace and refused
The Directionally Impaired Man
In researching for this message, I came across a joke that is told about a couple relating their vacation experiences to a friend. "It sounds as if you had a great time in Texas," the friend observed. "But didn’t you tell me you were planning to visit Colorado?" "Well," the husband said, "we changed our plans because, uh...” His wife cut in, "Oh, tell the truth, Fred!" Fred was completely silent. After a long pause, the wife continued, "You know, it’s just ridiculous! Fred simply will not ask for directions!"
I am intrigued by the unwillingness of lost men to ask for directions. It is a complaint so common it is a frequent subject of jokes and TV comedies. Almost every woman has a story about a man who drove around for hours looking for someplace and refused her entreaties to stop and ask. Since the beginning of time man has been seeking to find his own way while refusing to ask for directions. There is something inside man that feels acknowleging this need and depending on another to show you him the way somehow makes you less of a man.
This in part may contribute to the success of the Global Positioning System (GPS) which for a few hundred dollars allows the directionally impaired man to cover up or hide his need to be shown the way. I “Google” the term GPS to find it is officially named NAVSTAR GPS, a name given by John Walsh. He was a key decision maker when it came to the budget for the GPS program. Following the shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983, President Ronald Reagan issued a directive making the system available for free for civilian use as a common good. The satellite constellation is managed by the United States Air Force 50th Space Wing and the cost of maintaining the system for the directionally impaired man is approximately $750 million per year. Even when men have a GPS they are often found overriding the directions because they think they know a better way and ignoring the “recalculating” cry of the device to get you back on the right path.
However, covering up the fact you are directionally impaired may be a laughting matter when dealing with a GPS device but it is no laughting matter when dealing with God. The truth from God’s perspective is that every man is directional impaired even if he doesn’t want to admit it. Man needs someone to show him the way. But instead, man will do everything within his means to refuse to acknowledge his need to seek help. Yet the truth of God’s Word warns: “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) This is critically important because Matthew 7:13 tells us there is a broad way and a narrow way. The broad way is in yourself – depending on your own efforts to direct your life. This way is considered broad because man’s ego makes great room for it and many walk on this road. But the Bible says man’s way leads to destruction because we have a disease called sin. Notice the middle letter in the word sin is “I.”
Sin is a mighty foe becomes it deceives and distorts our view of direction in life. It makes us think we know where we are going when we are really lost. One writer I researched said, the first man Adam proved man is no match for sin and man’s way will end in death. He went on to say the Bible is full of such examples of men trying to find their way on their own: Samson found he couldn’t out muscle sin to find his way, Solomon found he could not outwit sin to find his way, Jonah found he couldn’t out run sin to find his way, David found he couldn’t out maneuver sin to find his way and Saul of Tarsus found he couldn’t out pious sin to find his way.
But there is good news for the directionally impaired man who is willing to acknowledge his need for direction concerning the way of life. The psalmist says: “Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in justice, and He teachers the humble His way.” (Psalm 25:9) The prophet Jeremiah knew his realized condition of directional impairment when he prayerfully acknowledged his need before the Lord and confessed: “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself; Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O Lord, but with justice; Not with Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing.” (Jeremiah 10:23-24) It is these two verses I’d like to focus on concerning the directionally impaired man.