The Wrong Path

The car’s air conditioning protected a friend and me from the sweltering heat outside, as we drove to Indiana. After visiting a landscaping business, I decided to look for a Catholic Church in the vicinity that I had not seen previously. After getting wrong directions to the church from two people, I put the church’s name into my GPS and got new directions.

I followed these directions out of town and onto a steep side road that reminded me of a mountain trail. Down and down the car went for three miles. I thought, “I’ve got to check this out; something’s wrong.” Seeing a spot to pull off the road, I looked again at the GPS directions. They said the church was 1043 miles away and it would take over 23 hours to get there. The directions I followed were to a church by the same name in New Brunswick, Canada. My friend and I laughed, turned off the GPS, and drove back home.

How easy it is to take the wrong direction if we are not careful! In our busy lives, it’s easy, for example, to succumb to temptation and take the wrong road because friends encourage us to take drugs or pleasure seeking moves us toward illicit sexual affairs. Furthermore, laziness or material concerns often keep us from going to Sunday Mass.

When we sense that things are not right, we need to stop and look deeply into our activities, asking if we have taken the wrong road. The path toward God is clear, if we look through the eyes of faith. Let’s examine our conscience, asking the Holy Spirit to give us the grace to make the necessary adjustments on the road of life.

Order Fr. Hater’s new book, Common Sense Catechesis: Lessons from the Past, Road Map for the Future.