Do It Right the First Time
And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Acts 5:25
Recently while running some errands, I saw an acquaintance who looked like he might have needed a ride. I almost pulled my truck over, but I was in a terrible hurry and just didn’t have time. Helping him would have taken me in the wrong direction – back towards my home – and I was already behind schedule, so I kept driving. A few miles down the road, I realized I’d left my wallet – which I needed – back at home. I had no choice but to turn around. I realized in doing so, that when I truly needed to go back, I went back. I didn’t think I had time, until it suited my needs, and then I made time.
God was telling me something. If I would have just helped the guy out like I should have in the first place, it would have been the same amount of time going back. Did God made me forget my wallet just to teach me that lesson? I have no idea. I do know that God used the wallet to show me that I had time. I was just unwilling to give it. I did things my way, but in the end, realized I should have just done things God’s way to begin with.
Today’s passage describes the futility of opposing God’s will. In the story, the religious leaders wanted the apostles to stop telling others of Christ. So, they had the apostles arrested and locked up. The next morning, the high priest called a trial and sent for the prisoners, but they weren’t in prison anymore. During the night, an angel had released them, commanding them to continue sharing the gospel. For everyone but the religious leaders and guards, it had to be a little funny. They tried so hard to shut the apostles up, only to find them back preaching the very next day.
When God wants me to do a thing, and I refuse, I defy his will, which is never going to end up good for me. My addiction taught me that going my way inevitably leads to misery, but this is a lesson that I apparently need to learn repeatedly. If I want to abandon futility and misery, I must daily choose to do it the right way – God’s way – the first time.