There is an old story about a man driving through the countryside who becomes hopelessly lost. Spotting an old farmer sitting on a fence, he pulls in and gets out of his car to inquire about directions. “Mister, can you tell me how to get to Centerville?” “Nope”, says the farmer. “Well, can you tell me where Highway 14 is?” “Nope”, replies the old man. “Can you tell me how far it is to the border?” “Nope”, is the answer once again. “You don’t know much, do you?” the exasperated city dweller finally said in disgust. “Well, I know I ain’t lost”, drawled the farmer.

If we aren’t going anywhere we might just as well be lost because we can’t just sit on the fence all day if we want to please God. He is looking for those who are willing to get up and move. It is important to find the right way. There is a broad way and a narrow way and there are those sitting by the way not going anywhere. Solomon tells us about going by the field of the slothful. Perhaps he was sitting on the fence like our farmer friend. His field was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall was broken down. Solomon learned a lesson by observing this slothful man and we can too. He said, “Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man” (Prov 24:32-34).

There are a lot of people who don’t know where they are, where they are going or how to get there, but are content to sit by the side of the road and snooze. Life is passing them by and while they are really lost, they don’t even know it because the surroundings look familiar.

One thing can be said for the man asking for directions: at least he was trying to find his way. It’s not a sin to be lost, only to stay lost. We are all born lost, and it is up to each one of us to find the way. It is important to find the right way, for as Solomon said, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 14:12).

As many a man knows who has been lost in the woods, there is a way that seems right that is dead wrong. Our instincts sometimes play tricks on us. If we have a compass that tells us which way is north and our instinct tells us something else, we are wise to have faith in our instrument and follow it. In searching for the right way of life we have a compass. It is unfortunate that so many judge God by their own ignorance and choose to ignore His compass. As a result, they strike out over the sands of time following their own instincts, or what someone else has told them. Jesus compared them to blind men leading blind men and he said they would all fall into the ditch.

We are wise if we say, with David of old, “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee…Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness” (Psa 143:8,10).

If our goal is really to reach the land of uprightness God will show us the way and lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.