Detours seemed to be a part of my daily drive one year. I wish I could say I handled them gracefully on a daily basis but I’d be far less than truthful if I did. I grumbled, let frustration overcome me and shared those feelings with others. None of that ever brings my King glory, encourages anyone and it does not serve to lessen my frustration. Rather, it just brought rise to more complaining within me that then spilled over into my whole day. I faced the same situation again one day when the sign noting the detour was visible but set off to the side and it wasn’t clear if getting through was possible until we were at a point where we had to turn around. After I fell into sharing complaints with others again, I heard a message from Jesus to stop and listen… to detour my thoughts! I quieted my mouth and mind and let my breath slow down so my heart could pay attention.
I try and make it a habit when I’m delayed or take a wrong turn to think positively and believe that I’m being rerouted so I get to view something Jesus wants me to see or that He’s protecting me from something along the other path. Why then was it so hard to think the same way with these times of roadwork and detours? What blocked me from seeing beyond my schedule and personal desires? I had to face the ugliness of selfish desire that wants its way over obedience and giving up control. Jesus gently brought thoughts of detour signs to my mind. Most times, the large barriers are set in the road and turning to follow the detour is unavoidable. At those times, obedience to God happens more easily, but I confess are often still riddled with complaining. However they are so rich if I humble myself and open my eyes to see what He has placed along the path to do for someone else or what He has prepared to show His love and bless me or get my attention. Sometimes, however, the barrier showing the detour is set off to the side a bit, allowing me to pass by but at the same time, still directing me to turn at that spot… but my full obedience has to rule and not my flesh. That is how it was that morning. It appeared that nothing stood in my way, nothing would stop me from traveling just one more mile up to my destination. However, as I drove forward, it quickly became clear that I would not be reaching the it by that route. I should have obeyed the sign, even though it wasn’t fully stopping me. How often in life do I pass by God’s clear signs, His messages to go a different way, choose a different attitude, a different tone of voice or more caring and encouraging words and instead choose disobedience and self? Jesus please keep reminding me that detours are for my good, for my growth and for Your glory!