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When the “Wrong” Way Proves to be Right

Mario Kart has been one of the most loved video games for decades. It’s created lots of laughs, late nights, and the occasional family fight when things got too heated. But one thing is clear; this game has stood the test of time. And that’s due to the exhilarating yet straightforward mission. Be the first to cross the finish line; by any means necessary.

There aren’t many things more satisfying than causing your friend or sibling to spin out just before they cross the finish line, leaving you just enough time to pass them and finish in first place. Winning these races was so satisfying in part due to their unique courses. Some of these courses require incredible skill and focus just to stay on the track. But if you ever got twisted around and started going down the road backward, you’d get the infamous “Wrong Way” icon pop up in the center of your screen. When you went in the wrong direction, it was there to inform you of your mistake and let you know that it was time to turn around. But what if the “wrong” way was the right way all along?

As a society, we’ve created many norms that we hardly pay attention to in our daily lives. We drive on the right side of the road, we wear pants in public, and we don’t invade strangers’ personal space. All of these things are social norms we live by every day, and if we were to break these social norms, we’d get a lot of “wrong way” looks. Many of these social norms are good for us; they keep us safe and let us function in an orderly way. But not all of them are good. Some of them keep us from living the life we should. Usually, it takes a brave man or woman to push against these wrong norms to change the way people think. Throughout history, we’ve seen people like Christopher Columbus, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others who were willing to be laughed at, mocked, or even hated for trying to reshape the way society thought. They chose to walk the “wrong” way to prove it was the right thing to do.

There are countless examples of people who sought to change society, but nobody sought to change the world as much as Jesus. He was always challenging the way people thought and behaved. He taught in mysterious parables that left people baffled. He went against standard social norms that, frankly, made people upset. But, Jesus wasn’t just some weird guy that didn’t like these norms; he had a mission. His mission was to get people to understand that they had created wrongful social practices through their ignorance and lack of communication with God. The ways they created, and they saw as right, weren’t right at all. And if we aren’t careful, we can do the same thing. We can let the social norms around us cloud the direction God has placed in our life. Not all social norms are harmful, but it is important to inspect every norm with a divine direction lens.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”.

To have the right norms and a clear direction, we first have to trust that God will take us where He wants us to go. We can’t lean on our own understanding or the knowledge of this world, but we must lean on God. And lastly, we have to acknowledge God, we have to recognize His presence, and we have to communicate with Him.

That’s what Jesus did in Matthew 26:39. It says, “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”. When Jesus is praying this prayer, he’s holding the cup of wrath. He knows if he goes down this path, it will lead to God’s wrath coming down on him through the cross. While he’s praying, we see that he acknowledged God was with him. He chose not to lean on his own understanding but on His Father’s. He was willing to trust that God wouldn’t take him down the wrong path. When he was finished praying, it was clear to him that the right way was the cross. But this didn’t make sense to those around Jesus. Even his closest followers tried to convince him to turn around because they thought he was going the wrong way. But Jesus had confidence in his direction because he trusted God, he leaned on God’s understanding, and he acknowledged him. He knew that this “wrong” way was right.

It’s a lot easier said than done, going the “wrong” way. It can be a scary and dangerous thing to do. That’s why the wrong way icon pops up. That’s why there are wrong way signs on roads. When you’re going the wrong way, you’re heading straight into oncoming traffic. Everyone is pushing against you; wrecks are bound to happen. When your right way clashes with someone else, it can get ugly. But when you know God has given you the right directions, nothing can stop you from continuing down that path. What seems right to the world is so often wrong in the eyes of God. We live in a society that’s always telling us, “this is the right way to go,” and so many people follow that blindly. If we want to go the God-inspired way in our life, we need to ask him for directions. That’s why it’s so important to go a little further into the garden of prayer, to seek God’s will a little longer because He will show us the right way if we just listen. Be obedient to God’s direction, even if the world thinks you’re going the wrong way. Because when God is involved, the “wrong” way proves to be right.


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