Nudges | Three Questions on Direction | Taking a Detour
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
Your car rolls to a stop at the intersection. To the left is your destination, but big orange signs say “Bridge Out. Detour.” You slump in your seat as you consider your options. The road to the right will get you where you want to go but will take a lot longer. It also has boring stretches, sketchy cell service, and dumpy little towns without a QuikTrip. You’re stunned as you realize this trip is not turning out like you thought it would. Did you make a mistake in taking this route? No, your disappointment is not because you’ve been following the wrong road, it’s that this road is not meeting your expectations.
We come to intersections like this in our lives, too: we set out in one direction, confident that God is leading. We think we know where we’re headed, but suddenly everything changes. A child gets sick. A parent dies. A career folds or the CT scan shows cancer. At this point, most people do one of two things: they either turn around and go back the way they came, or they crash through the Detour signs and hope for the best. We may be shocked and disappointed about the Detour sign, but God isn’t. He knew where we were going all along. Detours do not mean we are on the wrong road. They are often the way God directs us to a destination He has not revealed to us yet. Detours not only protect us from danger down the road, but they help us develop character and discover our purpose as we follow God’s GPS.
Final Thought: When you come to a life crossroads, do you: 1) Go back the way you came? 2) Crash through the warning signs? Or 3) Trust God to lead you around the detour?
Prayer: Father, since I’ve started following you, I’ve come to several crossroads. I sometimes turned away from you and other times tried to force myself on. Neither worked well. Teach me to follow you even through the detours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.