The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. Proverbs 11:5
The similarities between living my life over time and going on a journey to visit a different land are so profound that I find myself using the “traveling” metaphor almost without even thinking about it. Indeed, it is hard for me to talk about the choices a person makes in his life without talking about “the road he is on” or “the path he has taken.” Just like traveling to a distant town does not happen without making a lot of choices about how to get there, so an outcome in our life does not happen without us making choices. Every choice we make in life leads us in a certain “direction.” And the outcomes in our lives can be as varied as the places we can visit on this earth. We even talk about “our life going nowhere” when we are not accomplishing the goals we want to achieve.
But one major difference between living life and taking a journey is that we decide when to take the journey and can begin it at a later time. With life the time is happening right now. Second by second, minute by minute, day by day we are living our lives in a “vehicle” that is going somewhere. If we do not steer we will still end up at a different “place” in our lives than we are right now, we will just wonder, “how did I get here?” With life the movement is happening whether we acknowledge it or not.
That is what this proverb is talking about – “steering” our lives. If we steer in the “direction” of righteousness we will end up blameless at the end of our journey. But if we do not steer, if we do not decide to “walk” in the direction of righteousness, we will surely end up in a mess of trouble wondering, “how in the world did I end up here?” For righteousness is a specific place, and it’s impossible to get there without deciding to do so. But wickedness is found everywhere else. Aimless wandering will get you there.
So where are you headed in your life’s journey? If you don’t head towards righteousness, you shouldn’t be surprised at the end if your journey that you didn’t make it there.