I was waiting at a red light to turn into my community. An 18-wheeler with shiny silver sides was humming in front of me. When the light turned green, instead of turning, this giant truck did a U-turn.
I watched from my car with my mouth wide open.
Would he make it?
I didn’t know trucks that large could make U-turns in that intersection, but I saw it happen with my very own eyes. The driver accomplished his swift U-turn on the first try, without running over the fire hydrant, trees or sidewalks.
It reminded me that it’s always possible to make a U-turn when we’ve gone the wrong direction in life. Maybe sometimes it seems like it’s too late to change our course, or that a problem is much too large to turn around.
But if that huge truck could snake around and make a U-turn, believe me, with God’s help, you can too.
Maybe you have words that you need to apologize about.
Maybe you’ve gotten into a bad habit of falling asleep with the TV on instead of cuddling up to your spouse.
Maybe it’s been awhile since you said a prayer for your spouse or your kids.
Take heart – it’s not too late for a U-turn.
My family was on vacation a few weeks ago. When it was time to pack up, in a classic mom bellow, I roared “Come on everybody. Pick up your stuff! Hurry up!!!”
A few minutes later, I saw my 8-year-old daughter standing completely still in my whirl of activity. It made me want to explode.
“Didn’t you hear me?” I said harshly. “What are you doing just standing there? Get going – put your toothbrush in the suitcase!”
After the words had been flung, I knew my tone was too harsh. My daughter looked hurt. But I felt justified. After all, she was not helping in the packing process.
The next day, as God would have it, I was speaking to a group and a question came up about apologizing to our children. And I realized that I needed to make a U-turn and apologize to my daughter for my tone.
My daughter accepted my apology. And then something bonus happened. My 10-year-old son observed my apology and said, “Oh, I totally remembered when you were so mean.” That apology didn’t only build a bridge to my daughter. It connected with my son who heard me use those harsh words.
When you have to make a U-turn because you’ve gone down a wrong path, don’t let shame or guilt keep you from making the turn.
It’s better to get back on the right track (no matter how humbling) than to go along a path that leads to second best or worse, destruction.
Is there a U-turn you need to make with one of your family members?
That huge 18-wheeler made the U-turn in my neighborhood. With God’s help, you can make the U-turn that’s in front of you.
Arlene Pellicane, arlenepellicane.com