The St. Louis Cardinals began the 2006 baseball season in a brand new ballpark. It’s a beautiful stadium that is the sum of some pretty amazing parts. For example, within that grand edifice there are 1,055,206 bricks, 29,787 gallons of paint, 17,500 pieces of structural steel, 914 doors, 55 flag poles, and 1,864 signs.*
That’s right, 1,864 signs.
Signs that point you toward the restrooms, the elevators, the concessions stands, the gift shops, and most importantly, your seat. Can you imagine what going to a ballgame in a gigantic stadium would be like if there were no signs? Picture forty thousand people streaming through the turnstiles and having no idea where to go!
Jesus witnessed something like that during his earthly ministry. In Matthew 9 we’re told that as he traveled from village to village teaching and healing people, he felt great sadness for them “because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help.” (verse 36, my emphasis)
I can only think of one thing worse than not knowing where to go, and that’s not knowing where to go but thinking you do. Proverbs 14:12 speaks of this tragic condition when it says, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”
That verse became real to me several years ago when I missed a turn in rural Alabama and blissfully drove many miles in the wrong direction. I was having the time of my life, singing along with the CD player and playing drums on the steering wheel. I had no idea that with every passing second I was creating a bigger problem for myself.
How long has it been since you evaluated the direction of your life?
Please don’t assume that because you’re happy and things are going relatively well, you must be on the right track. Proverbs 14:12 was written to debunk that notion. The world is full of people who are careening toward heartbreak with twinkles in their eyes and smiles on their faces. The only way you can be sure you’re heading in the right direction is to consult the word of God. That’s where his directional signs are posted.
For further reflection read Proverbs 3:5 and Psalm 119:1-11.
*Busch Stadium Commemorative Yearbook, 2006, 228