VISION: THE U-TURNS
7th February 2015
I saw a long straight road. On the footpaths on either side were a few chairs arranged in semi-circles. All along the walkway, were a varied collection of people, sitting in their own semi-circle exclusively with those who held the same views as them.
All the groups gathered on the footpaths on either side of the road held diverse views. No two groups held even remotely similar views to each other.
A long time ago, these groups had had major conflicts, but after a while, they got tired and bored of trying to convert each other to their brand of ‘truth’. They invested in some chairs and night and day, whiled away their time in gossip and inane conversations.
They were a bored people.
They had long since, stopped picking on each other, or on the other diverse groups, as they had found another pastime.
Tucked away in a quiet corner, surrounded by greenery, was a beautiful door which led to the ‘Grooming Place’.
The bored-people enjoyed watching the folk who entered these beautiful premises and within a certain period emerged looking refreshed and younger.
This day they were waiting for the emergence of the middle-aged man who had entered the “Grooming Place”, a while ago. The bored people gasped as they watched the man, finally come through the door, looking radiant and completely rejuvenated.
The man stepped into a waiting taxi.
The bored ones, began to nudge one another.
“A taxi?” they exclaimed, in unison.
One of the senior bored ones said, “ Don’t they all claim, that God has called them to go to the Grooming Place….and how can God who is a God of abundance, refresh and rejuvenate them and then send them out in a taxi? Why doesn’t the true and Living God after doing so much for them, not Provide them with their own vehicle?”
“Maybe God doesn’t trust them!” replied one of the group members.
The bored ones, leaned forward in their chairs and watched intently as the well-groomed man ignoring their sneers, got into the taxi.
The straight road was over a mile long, with precast concrete dividers.
All along the road, on either side, the bored people had been alerted about the man who had now boarded a taxi. These curious groups leaned forward, to get a glimpse of the groomed one.
They were aghast at what they saw. The groomed man seated in the taxi, was instructing the driver, to take a U-Turn at every turning point on the road.
From where the bored people sat, these repeated U-Turns made it seem as if the passenger in the taxi was confused and had lost his mind.
A grey haired lady, leaning forward, spoke loudly, so all her group could hear her, “That taxi takes one U-Turn, stops, the groomed man goes somewhere, I can’t see clearly where exactly, then he takes another U-Turn to get back on the road, and at the next turn, another U-Turn? My head is spinning; all that grooming has confused him! Why does he stop and then disappear in that mist? And then emerge out of it, smiling? Everyone that comes out of that “Groomed Place” looks good, but they sure do behave weird!”
The bored people were frustrated because they could not read the signs above the places the taxi passenger disappeared into for a while.
The groomed man was obeying the instructions he had been given. He had fallen prostrate and continually thanked and praised God, in the “Grooming Place”, that he had been chosen for the great assignment that lay ahead, and the work he must do en route to it.
On the first U-Turn, he entered through a door marked “EXPRESS GRATITUDE” and he did express the gratitude that was long overdue to the person there.
The second U-Turn, was to a place marked “Repair”, where the man picked up the item that had long been left there to be mended.
The third U-Turn, led to a place marked “Heal”. Here several people sat nursing their injuries outside the walls of a large property that housed many religious institutions. He spoke firmly to them, “Arise.” They saw that the groomed one was determined not to bend down, kneel or sit with them.
They sighed deeply and arose to their feet.
Their open wounds were bleeding and the groomed man, with great kindness applied the balm, he had been specially given, to the lesions of the sufferers.
Looking straight at them, he said “ And now move on”. Immediately the people were healed, and they moved on.
The fourth U-Turn led to a place marked “Comfort”, where tucked away in a corner, sat a number of people, with their heads buried in their knees. These had no open wounds, no bleeding, no visible hurts, but they were a desolate people. They had no tears, just a dazed look as they gazed at the groomed man, who sat down beside them. The man spoke gently to them, sharing the words of comfort that the Lord had given him to speak to these people. The desolate people slowly rose to their feet. The groomed man who stood in the midst of them, now began to sing softly. The people had never heard this song before, yet it seemed familiar to them, they knew the words to the song without having learnt them.
It was strange listening to them singing so well, the song they knew not. The lyrics flowed from their lips as if they had memorized them all their lives. Yet the people who were now desolate no more, did not find the situation strange at all. At first they sang the song softly, but soon, they raised their voices and began singing it with great gusto.
The groomed man smiled as he made his way to the taxi and looking back at them, said, “Now move on”.
The bored people could not read the signs, or see the people or hear the conversations the groomed man had with those he met after every U-Turn.
All they could see was the taxi U-Turning, and the groomed man disappearing into a mist.
I saw that after all the U-Turns were complete, the groomed man smiled as the taxi turned into a gate. The man had been obedient to stop wheresoever the Lord had instructed him to.
The taxi driver was irate for having had to make so many U-Turns. Like the bored people, he too could only see the mist his passenger disappeared into. The driver was most annoyed with his passenger, and was convinced the man was completely confused.
He was relieved to finally drop his passenger at his destination. The driver did nothing to conceal his contempt for him.
After the taxi drove off, the groomed man stood still for a moment, overwhelmed by the flood of love that suddenly overcame him. Just as the Lord had promised, a divinely provided brand new vehicle awaited him. On the front seat was a map.
The bored people could not see the new vehicle. They continued to sit in their semi-circles, mocking and ridiculing the groomed man.
I understood that this was the time, when many who had spent time with the Lord, and had been refreshed and rejuvenated, would emerge looking good, but their walk of obedience to Christ Jesus would make them seem confused, weird and odd to the undiscerning.
9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.