Life is full of detours.
You're probably not shocked or surprised by my detour discovery, but I can be a little slow on the uptake sometimes.
Somehow, that big orange warning always catches me off guard. I'm riding along, everything going according to plan, when suddenly, the signs tell me I need to go a different way.
A way that I don't know.
A way, that I suspect, is going to take me longer to arrive than I anticipated.
But the way forward is blocked.
I have choices. I can be short-sighted and become frustrated and angry by the roadblock. I can turn around and give up. Or I can trust that the one who put up the signs knows the lay of the land far beyond my limited scope. I can believe those detour signs will lead me to where I'm supposed to go.
So, I trust and follow the arrows.
Because the detour wasn't my choice, I view it as an inconvenience at best, and at worst, it's downright scary. The way can seem dark and winding. It often leads me deeper into unfamiliar territory.
But I continue to look for the arrows to guide me.
Maybe my realization isn't so much that there ARE detours but that there are REASONS for the detours. They aren't as random as they appear.
I may be heading toward potholes big enough to do real damage. I have discovered this truth when I've insisted on ignoring the signs. Proverbs 14:12 says: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
And Proverbs 16:9 instructs: "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Sometimes, I'm in such a rut, going the same way day after day, that my route needs a fresh view.
A view that's unexpected and beautiful...maybe even life-changing.
It may be that I was never supposed to reach my intended destination at all.
As I contemplate some of the major detours in my life, I realize that each one brought me to a better place. Every exciting opportunity that has come my way has been an unforeseen detour from the road I was on, from the destination I had in mind.
Conversely, when the detour signs were ignored...when I grabbed the wheel for all it was worth and plowed ahead in spite of warnings, I got stuck in the mud, ran off the road or in some way or another, found myself in trouble.
The good news is, God has always been gracious to bring me back to the road he wanted me on.
Have you been detoured?
Maybe you didn't get the job you thought was "perfect" for you. Or into your first choice of school - or second or third. Perhaps something that appeared to be working out, didn't - a business deal, a relationship, a bid on your dream house.
Don't stare at the roadblock. Don't high tail it back home and abandon your journey.
Follow the detour and see where it leads.
It may take a little longer than you'd like. It may look like you're heading deeper into the woods. But if God puts up a detour sign, he'll get you where you need to be, because it's where he wants you to be. Don't fight the detour...enjoy the ride!
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