If you know me, then you know that I’ve been living in a construction zone for months. More than one, actually. The main road my neighborhood dumps out on is in construction, as well as a couple of the streets in my neighborhood, including mine. It’s a pain! Right now, we have several roads closed and have had to learn to take detours. Detours are not fun. They take me WAY out of my way to get where I’m going. Sometimes, they are frustrating and inconvenient. And then….every once in a while, the detour road itself is detoured. If you’re riding with me, you’ll hear me go “grrr” a lot!
The thought occurred to me the other day that life is like that – full of detours. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. That moment when you stop and think to yourself, “wait a minute, this is not the life I planned!” Detours can be good or bad things. There are good things that detour your life and you don’t mind so much: marriage, new baby, new job, new friend, new house. Then, there are the bad ones. You can probably think of your own, but I’m going to throw a few things out there that I’ve witnessed or experienced lately: betrayal, divorce, accidents, illness, financial trouble. Hmmm. That’s a painful list right there. Every one of them can absolutely stop you in your tracks.
The thing about road detours is this…when you realize that your normal path is closed, you have a decision to make. Most of the time, we make the decision without any real thought. “Gee, they say we have to go this way…I think I will!” Sometimes, though, I have found myself sitting at the closed road thinking, “which way do I go now?” At that moment, I must decide. Am I going to sit at that closed road and whine and complain and go nowhere? Am I going to choose my own path? Or am I going to follow the orange detour signs put out by the construction workers and trust that they’ll lead me to where I need to go? The obvious thing is that most of the time, it’s going to be best to follow those orange signs. They were put there to help you not get lost.
Life’s detours are not much different from road detours. When life hands you one of those detours, you must make a decision. Are you going to stay at the site of the detour and beat your chest about how unfair life is? You may laugh, but think about how often we get so upset that life has thrown us a curveball that we forget that we must keep moving, no matter how hard it is. To stay still is to become stagnant (ahhh….but that’s another blog!). The next option is to choose our own path. My experience has taught me that this often leads to bitterness and unhappiness. The last and most obvious choice is to follow the orange signs. At this point, you may be yelling, “It’s not that simple!” Well, it is really. If you read my blog from last night, then you know that it’s all about staying in constant communication with the One Who created us. Don’t you think He knew about Your detour? Guess what! He has also provided a way around it! He may have even been the One Who put the detour into place! (Don’t believe me? Read Exodus. He chose the long route for the Israelites.)
The point is, stuff happens. It just does. Life is hard and rarely goes the way we expect it to. The Bible makes it very clear that seasons change, that our plans and God’s plans are different and that life has trouble. But, the Bible is also clear in this – God has a plan and a purpose and invites every one of us to be a part of it. How? Listen. Obey. He’ll tell you what to do. God created us for relationship with Him. His intention was never to create us then to leave us to our own devices! Stay close to Him and you’ll never get lost.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.