Wrong House

Saturday, March 19, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Love To Tell The Story"1 (Lyrics)

Back in the early 1960s, I often took on odd jobs in Portland, Oregon, USA, where I was a student. One day, my assignment was at an address in an affluent suburb. The door would be unlocked — those were innocent days. I was to tidy the house and hand out a snack when the children came home from school.

A city bus got me there early. But when I went inside the lovely home, there wasn't a hair out of place. Everything was polished and gleaming. Worried, I stepped back outside to look at the street sign, only to find that I had gone east rather than west! I was standing in the doorway of the wrong house!

Terrified of neighbours calling the authorities, I rushed down the street and caught the bus that I'd come on, going in the other direction. Soon, I was at the same address but in the opposite end of town — an equally nice suburb in the west end.

I went timidly up a well-kept walk and tried the door, which opened into a living room where substantial mayhem seemed to have gone on. It was clean underneath, but messy with books and jackets, boots and shoes, everything higgledy-piggledy! This was more like it! I bustled around, setting things to rights. Less than an hour later, three exuberant children came crashing into the order that I'd restored, but before they could do much damage, a parent turned up and paid me.

Both homes at either end of town had a lot in common: neighbourhoods, children, and architecture, not to mention the utter confidence to leave their doors unlocked so that a stranger could get in. Nobody seemed to have thought that anyone would take advantage of such a situation.

When all else fails, follow directions, someone advised. But my habit was not paying attention to the ones that I was given. This has resulted in catastrophe more than somewhat. Fortunately for our lives, the Bible, being the guidebook that it is, contains all the directions that we ever need to live a life of peace and happiness.

Do we accept that it is God alone Who knows the way that our day should take? Do we begin each new day with a prayer to be shown what that way is?

Psalm 139:24b – Lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV 2011)

Jeremiah 10:23 – Lord, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. (NIV 2011)

2 Thessalonians 3:5 – May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance. (NIV 2011)

I am in the "right house" now, as I daily turn my life over to follow God's direction, starting with, "I can't handle it, God. You take over!" Every day is a day for us all to ask to be shown the way and then to go forward in confidence, knowing that Jesus said, "I am the way."

Prayer: Dear God of our lives, guide us pilgrims through this world in which we are strangers. Hear our voices in the morning, and enable us to walk in the way that You direct. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Another interesting story with a good application, Rose.

    Amen! Thank you for today’s devotion Rose.

    Thank you, Rose, for a very interesting story and a good application.

    Another interesting story with great advice. Thanks and blessings, Rose!

    Good analogy Rose. We have all the direction we need. We just have to learn to follow it.

    Thank you. Sometimes it does take wrong turns and buses to find the right path, the right house – the house of the Lord.

    Amen Rose. Each day is so much better when we listen to His guiding voice.

    Oh Rose what a mix up that was! Thank God good came from it in God’s time!
    Thanks for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    I knew this story but had not thought about it in this context. An important message and one that come across clear, from the heart, and in a non-preachy way.

    As am about to start a new job. This was the devotion that I needed, because even though am confident, I really need God to take control of my steps. Thanks for the beautiful inspiring words. God bless you always.

    Good morning, Rose,
    I’m sure many readers knew that you had to be the writer even before they came to your name. What adventures you have had, although this was one of the tamer ones. Thank you for encouraging us always to commit our ways to the Lord.

    Thank you Rose for another of your very interesting writings. How well you handled that situation you found yourself in, by promptly realizing you were in the wrong house. Our loving Lord was truly right there to guide you to where you were to be. Blessings as you continue to write and share your experiences of the Lord’s care in your life.

    This was a wonderful illustration with an apt application, Rose. You gave me things to think over today! You also reminded me of my own college days with odd jobs of housecleaning and babysitting. And you also reminded me of my own growing up on a farm with no need to lock doors! Thanks for connecting it all with a strong challenge for us.

    Good morning, Rose,
    Very good advice this morning. Even for all of us right now, it is sometimes hard to follow the directions given us, maybe not actually going the wrong way, but perhaps thinking about it. Thank you for another inspiring message.

    Good morning, Rose,
    The song chosen for your devotional also fits you because you always tell a good and helpful story with each devotional you share.
    The message that I received from your devotional is to be willing to go where God wants you to go that day, not where you might have planned to go. God is in charge. I don’t always do this, but I will try to remember to start my day with a prayer similar to yours and hope that it helps me.
    May you continue to “tell your story” for others to keep trying to follow God. Blessings.

    Good afternoon, Rose,
    Thank you for that. It’s funny that people do that really. My dad did it too after a night shift at the refinery — came ‘home’ (we lived in row houses essentially but apartments.) and went into the wrong apartment. They were all identical in layout, and he was used to coming in quietly so as not to wake everyone, took off his boots etc. and then started to crawl into bed… only to hear a voice saying patiently “you’re in the wrong house”!! He was at our neighbors’, fortunately good friends with my parents. They laughed about it for years. So you brought up a very good memory for me, THANK you.
    My husband and I were out of our own house for two months while being displaced by a fire we had no damage, just smoke to be cleaned. It took forever it felt like. But oh was it good to come home! I think this world we live in now can (for me at any rate) make us feel displaced. We are waiting to go HOME. I so look forward!!
    Blessings on you and yours, and thank you again for the devotional, I look forward to yours.

    Thank you Rose for another excellent devotional. How different times were then as I cannot imagine leaving a door to a house unlocked today. Only God leaves His door unlocked today.

    Thank you for this Devotional, which struck home for me today.
    The church I am part of, is using a Lenten prayer, when we ask God to “guide our steps”.
    Your words meant a lot, for me, as I try to walk “The Way”.
    Blessings for your inspiration from God’s Holy Word, through his Spirit.

    This was a wonderful illustration with an apt application, Rose. You gave me things to think over today! You also reminded me of my own college days with odd jobs of housecleaning and babysitting. And you also reminded me of my own growing up on a farm with no need to lock doors! Thanks for connecting it all.

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