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Not Another Detour!

Staff Member
Not Another Detour! - September 15, 2005

"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go." Joshua 1:7

For months now, there has been a familiar scene on my drive into work. Many roads are now dotted with bright orange cones and strange men and women holding up flags everywhere. I see colorful hard hats, fluorescent shirts, backhoes and heavy equipment digging up the streets. There is a synchronized dance between two men standing at a great distance from each other. One holds a sign that says "Stop" and the other, "Slow".

Today something different happened; a brand new traffic pattern emerged. I just got used to going in one direction and today there were new lines painted on the road, new cones set and a new light to turn at; very different from where I had driven the day before. And with that annoying, large blinking arrow pointing to the right instead of the left I thought, "When will this confusion and inconvenience ever end?"

It reminded me of times in my life where God has changed the direction I was heading and provided a heavenly detour. The path included a much-needed alternative route or a roundabout way to get to the destination He wanted me to go. Perhaps the frustration of sitting in a line of traffic is a gentle comparison to waiting upon my Lord as He clears the blockages ahead so my path will be clear. The cones and concrete barriers set in place are for my protection from my own desire to stray off course. It's as if God has placed a shield around me, keeping me in line and forcing me to slow down or stop for my own good.

I plead, "Oh, but Lord, it's been way too long for this detour in my life! Will anything good come out of it?" God, in His divine wisdom whispers, "Just think what would happen if the detour to a better path was not set for you. There would be terrible fines to pay if you went too fast, or perhaps you'd run into a ditch and crash and never fully recover. Just stop, listen and obey My law and allow My wisdom and direction to lead you."

At the end, when the roadblocks are cleared, the cones removed and the road is freshly paved and smooth, we will realize the unconditional love of our God and that He was right all along. The obstructions, distractions and anger we experienced while waiting during the time of change are all worthwhile when the new pattern emerges. Then we can clearly see the direction we are to head and give great thanks to the Foreman above all foremen that He was there all along, leading the way!

Be thankful and patient the next time God takes you on a detour in your own life. Embrace the new path He has placed you on and follow His direction until He decides to set the next orange cone in place.

Be blessed today and through God's grace, smile the next time you find yourself waiting for the "Slow" or "Stop" sign to be turned around.

Contributed by Diane Check