It was all good until I saw the next street sign that said, "Next exit - six miles." Six miles? Are you kidding me? That's twelve miles out of the way and about 11-13 minutes of my life I would potentially lose. Okay, maybe I'm overreacting a little bit, but before you start judging me and thinking I'm over dramatic, put yourself in the driver's seat and picture yourself making this mistake. Realize that you have to drive six miles in the wrong direction and six miles back, just to get to where you are now. Okay, now that that's settled we can move on.
My next reaction was to think of ways to get myself out of this debacle. Instinctively, I thought of making an illegal U-turn in the median between the highways, the ones that say "Authorized Vehicles Only."
And that's when it hit me...Mistakes lead to more mistakes, which probably lead to even more mistakes. It's not a profound revelation but an important one for me. After my wrong turn, I had three opportunities to take illegal U-turns. Three more chances to possibly make the situation even worse by getting a ticket. It'd be pretty mindless to risk this, but often times I think it's what I do. My instant reaction is to get myself out of the jam I'm in as fast as possible at any cost. Even if I were to get away with it, I wouldn't be handling the situation with integrity.
We all mistakes. It's not necessarily a bad thing and it's not something we'll be able to avoid. It's going to happen. Once I accepted the fact that I would lose 11-13 minutes of my life and about a half gallon of gas, it actually wasn't so bad after all! It was a nice day out, I listened to some good music, and best of all, I learned a life lesson.
What matters most is how we deal with that initial mistake. Do we handle it with integrity and character, or do we let the mistakes snowball into something far worse than it needs to be? I think sin is the same way. Once a sin is committed, it leads to more opportunities and temptations to sin. Galatians 5:9 is profound when it says "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." Sometimes, all it takes is that one mistake or that one sin to set us off the right track. We were running a good a race but this little blip completely takes us off course. It's vital not to compound our mistakes and sins and to cut them off early, because we can get into some ugly situations if we don't.