We have all seen them at one time or another - that dreaded sign (usually located near a construction zone) that says "DETOUR." Instantly, we know that whatever travel plans we had before have now been changed. It will probably take us longer to get where we want to go; we may even feel lost for awhile trying to get there; we will more than likely encounter scenery and objects that we have never seen before...all of this will occur simply because we cannot travel our usual route, due to circumstances out of our control. We have been re-directed, most likely not of our own choosing. This tends to make us frustrated. We feel like we have suddenly been robbed of our control - now we're at the mercy of some pilot car to show us the way. Time seems to be ticking on by, but here we are: stuck in traffic on some road that we do not know.
Doesn't this sound a lot like life, though? It has its share of detours - sudden changes in direction that leave us confused and sometimes angry. The way in which we thought we were headed has drastically changed, and now we have no choice but to trust the Pilot car - God. To sit back and relax while winding through the unknown. I have had my own share of "detour" moments - times when I seem to lose all control, and my life felt like it was no longer my own. At first, I didn't like that feeling of being re-directed. It frustrated me to no end that, in my view, I could no longer get to the destination I wanted in the way I had originally planned. But, in time, I came to learn a valuable lesson: while at times unpleasant, detour moments can also provide us with beautiful and unexpected things. In construction zones, as well as in life, detours get us out of our usual grind and allow us to experience new scenery along the way, to notice special surprises and to gain fresh perspective.
Sometimes, I have found that detours take you places where you never thought you would ever go but, in the end, you are glad that you did. Perhaps it was in the act of having to trust the Pilot car - the God who leads - that we first learned to let go. To settle in for the ride and enjoy the journey a bit. To actually take in this beautiful world around us and appreciate it. To slow down our busyness, get off of our beaten pathways, and take a new road. Just maybe, in so doing, we come to see new things that otherwise would have been hidden from our view. In hindsight, we realize that we would be the emptier without them.