Riverside Community Church

Making a Path Correction

If I could live my life over again what would I change? Ask yourself, if I could live my life over again, what would I do differently, what would I change?

When asked “How would you have lived your life differently if you had a chance?” Nadine Stair, an 85-year-old woman, from Louisville, Kentucky, provided these poetic words as her response…

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see,

It sounds like a LIFE REGRETTED. I was on the wrong path, I would have chosen a different path

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

It sounds like a LIFE REGRETTED. I was on the wrong path, I would have chosen a different path

It’s too late for them now, they could have/should have made a course correction when they were in their 20s or 30s or 40s or even in their 70s. BUT is it too late for a course correction for us right now, for you right now? NO.

Last week we started this series called, “The Path,” in which we said that there is an unbreakable principle in the universe, it’s the principle of The Path, which says:

Your direction determines your destination.

We went a little further and said it really doesn’t matter what you hoped for, what you want to happen, what your intent is.

Your direction, not your intention, determines your destination.

The path you’re on determines where you end up.

It doesn’t matter how smart, good looking, or rich you are, if you get on the 401 going west, you will eventually end up in Toronto. ‘Direction-destination’ principle


This principle isn’t rocket science; it isn’t brain surgery. We all know this when it comes to geography, but for some reason, when it comes to other areas of life, like relationships, school, finances, morality, eating habits, exercise, spirituality, entertainment, we often walk one way and hope to wind up somewhere in the other direction. There’s a disconnect between what we want/intend and the actual path we’re on.


Your direction, not your intention, not your hopes, not your dreams, determines your destination. This is the hinge on which everything in life hangs. Our direction must align with our intention/hopes so that when we arrive at our destination our hopes and dreams are realized. IF WE ARE WISE THEN WE ALIGN


Proverbs 1:2-4

Solomon, the primary author of Proverbs, tells us that Proverbs was written,


2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;

for understanding words of insight;

3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,

doing what is right and just and fair;

4 for giving prudence to the simple,

knowledge and discretion to the young-


Who doesn’t want that? God superintended the composition of this book we call Proverbs so that we could become wise, so that we would know how to live life well. In this section, which is known as the Prologue to the book of Proverbs, a word appears twice that we don’t use very often. But it’s a great word, because if you can master the skill it implies, your life will work much better. The word is prudent (noun) or prudence (adjective)

To be prudent means “to know what to do,” “to exercise good judgment,” or “having common sense.” We don’t use this word very much, but the book of Proverbs uses it a lot. In fact, Solomon compares and contrasts prudent people with a second kind of people, “simple people.” And you don’t want to be a simple person.

Proverbs 22:3

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 27:12

The prudent see danger and take refuge,but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

It’s the exact same proverb, just recorded in two different places. Why would God do that? Why would this proverb be recorded twice? I don’t know. But here’s what I think. God put Proverbs in the Bible to make us smarter at living life. God

put this Proverb in the Bible twice because he thinks it’s doubly important that we learn its lesson.


The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty (Proverbs 27:12). 

 If last week we learned that our path is of paramount importance, then the logical question is, how do you choose the right path? How do you figure out what path you should be on? Or, in some cases, how do you figure out what path to get off of? The primary difference between the prudent and the simple is not what they see but how they respond to what they see.


The prudent see danger and take refuge. The simple see danger and keep going. Both of them see danger.

One responds by changing course, CHANGING PATHS, the other keeps going and hopes that the danger will never arrive. It’s like the ostrich who buries his head in the sand: “If I can’t see it, it can’t see me. If I ignore what I know is out there, it can’t hurt me.” Solomon calls people like this “simple.”


1. The prudent make course corrections.

You can see your direction, in your life, in every area of your life you can see the direction you’re going. Both the prudent and the simple see the paths they’re on.

The relationship path with spouse, children, parents, friends, enemies …

“If I keep up my behavior (my path) with this person what will it end up looking like?”

The moral path, what you watch on the computer or TV, where does it end?

The financial path, if I don’t budget what happens in the end?

The Spiritual path, if I continue on with God like this what does it look like in 5 years, 10 years, next year?

Just remember, you can’t go back in life, your past is done with, you can only change paths, make a course correction now, not tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes and you don’t know what tomorrow brings. Part of choosing the right path is getting off the wrong path. Saying, “This behavior, this habit, this relationship, this __________ you name it, is leading me somewhere that’s going to hurt, so I’m going to get off of this path and get on the right one.” That’s wise, that’s PRUDENT.

2. The simple keep right on going.

When a prudent person senses that a relationship is moving in an unhealthy direction, they do something. The simple keep going. When a prudent person sees trouble on their financial horizon, they do something. The simple keep spending.  When a prudent person realizes that God is the most important person in the universe, and their relationship with him isn’t growing, they do something about it. The simple keep doing whatever they were doing that took their time away from God.

Just so we’re clear, the second half of the proverb says, “the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

3  The Simple Pay the Penalty

For refusing to act on what they see. They pay the penalty because they see no connection between the choices of today and the experiences of tomorrow. They overlook the fact that every path has a destination. The simple just… keep… going…and pay

  • A 20-something knows that he’s gaining a little weight, but hey, that’s what happens in your 20’s, isn’t it? And when they’re 40, it is a problem.
  • A couple thinks, “We really need to get on a budget. We need to figure out where our money is going so we can give to God and have some leftover to help others. But they keep on spending with no plan.

So how do you choose the right path? Here’s the key. Are you ready for this?

4. Prudent people know that it’s not what they see that makes a difference, it’s what they do.

So they do things. They make course corrections.

How do you make a course correction?

A. You do something.

You take action. You step off a path and get on another one. This is almost always hard because we are creatures of habit, creatures of momentum. We naturally continue to do what we’re used to doing. If we’re used to overeating, overeating

feels natural to us. If we’re used to losing our temper, losing our temper is natural to us. If we’re used to online chat rooms then ….  Action, do something, step off, that is prudent.

B. You almost always give up something.

When you see danger, it almost always requires sacrifice, which is why we don’t do it.

C. You (someday) will breathe a sigh of relief.

You know what’s kind of funny about this proverb? It’s the exact story mom told us when we were kids. Did your mom ever read you the story of The Three Little Pigs? You remember the story: One builds his house out of straw; one builds his house out of sticks. When the big bad wolf comes along, he huffs, and he puffs, and he blows their houses down.

Solomon would call those two “simple pigs.” The third little pig was a prudent pig. He built a house out of bricks. Why? Because he saw danger coming and built a refuge!

I don’t want to hit any more walls, BE ON ANY MORE WRONG PATHS. If I need a course correction then I need to take action. If you need a course correction then you need to take action. You and I need to monitor every aspect of our life, but the top five areas to monitor are:

1. Spiritual

2. Relational

3. Moral

4. Physical

5. Financial.

I think they’re in that order too. The most important being in the world is God. The most important thing on earth is relationships.

So monitor your paths. Watch over them. Let’s not waste another minute on a path that leads somewhere you don’t want to go. Let’s take some time this week to reflect and redirect. To make some course corrections.

It is our direction, not our intentions that will determine our destination.

The prudent see danger and take refuge. They get off the wrong path and get on the right path. They make course corrections. They don’t just think about it or worry about it, they do it. Make some sort of course correction in your life.