Is What’s Popular Always Right?

I seldom travel, so when I do I find it stressful. Last week I was dropped off at Sea-tac International Airport. I momentarily stood on the curb, my suitcase in hand and took a deep breath. With a frantic prayer on my lips I walked through the automatic doors.

My time was limited and if I didn’t use it wisely I was bound to miss my flight. I was swept into a crowd of various lines only to be told I was in the wrong one. I quickly maneuvered myself into another stream of people, my suitcase bouncing off its wheels and wanting to topple over. The crowd was pressing behind me. If I stopped they would run into me. My hand ached as it fought with my luggage. Finally I saw the sign I was looking for.

I chose one of several long lines and settled in for a lengthy wait. I remained there for over five minutes without moving forward an inch. An airport employee stepped forward and addressed those of us at the end of the line.

“I recommend moving to the lineup over there,” he said as he pointed in the opposite direction.

I could not see the line and I’m certain the others in our group couldn’t either. In good faith I took his advice and discovered the security entrance. To my great relief I found myself second in line! I glanced back. Not one of my fellow travelers had taken the man’s advice. They remained standing at the end of the popular lineup.

Less than ten minutes later I breathed a sigh of relief as I found my gate. I sat down to calm my nerves while I waited for my flight. Indeed God had been with me. If the shuttle hadn’t delivered me 20 minutes early and I hadn’t used the recommended short line I most certainly would have missed my flight.

Later I reflected on the experience and a memory verse from my childhood popped into my mind. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12 NIV

Why are we humans so ready to follow the crowd, to make decisions by popular choice instead of searching out our own answers? We tend to go with what feels good or what is popular instead of searching the Scriptures for ourselves.

I challenge you to take a close look at the “lineup” you find yourself in. Perhaps you will discover a small lineup with an assured destination.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matthew 7:13 NIV

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