Rusty old gates, some ornate, others utilitarian, holding in common the fact that the structures they once led to no longer remain. Dilapidated and torn down the buildings are gone. I see them from time to time on the side of the road. Some are recent relics others are ages old covered in overgrowth and vining vegetation. In either case, I’m always struck with curiosity. What happened? What was the cause? What is the story?

Gates to no where can can happen in our lives as well. Opportunities that initially look promising or enticing but on closer inspection lead no where. We journey a path we thought led in one direction only to discover it was not what we had expected. Do not be afraid to course correct. Sometimes we get off track. At times we miss our trajectory. On occasion changing paths, careers, or location may be necessary.

Clear directions are a good thing. Being slightly off course may not seem like that big of a deal until you consider that being off by just one degree means that after one foot you will miss your target by 0.2 inches. Not much, right? But think about the compounded effects the farther you go? After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet. Now consider the difference in flight miles. Every degree you fly off course means missing your target landing by 92 feet for every mile flown. That equals approximately one mile off target for every sixty miles flown. So think about this, if you flew around the earth, one degree off would land you almost 500 miles away from your intended target. Overtime and distance, little things add up. And failing to course correct over a lifetime can be devastating. 

There are costly consequences for getting off course.

  1. Getting off course can cause confusion. We lose perspective and sight of our destination and goal. It can paralyze our decision making. If we aren’t sure where we are headed it’s much harder to know if a choice is moving us closer to our goal or farther away.
  2. Getting off course can be expensive both in terms of money and time. Course corrections can be costless we make the changes necessary to bring realignment with our purpose and goals.
  3. Getting off course can result in regrets. Not being sure of our ultimate destination and goals makes our decisions more difficult  and choices much harder to discern.

Course corrections require a plan of action. A step-by-step road map to get back on track requires honesty about where you are, responsibly for how you got there, and accountability to keep moving forward.

Do not get paralyzed by indecision or stuck in fear. Remain confident and make the changes necessary, the sooner the better. Go back to what you know and keep moving! Consistent evaluation and wise counsel are invaluable as you steward your decisions and life well. Daily course corrections over a lifetime are key to flourishing and finishing well. Let the gates you pass be a reminder to evaluate the path you are traveling.

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