Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Road Closed -- Detour

Being a die-hard creature of habit, every day I drive the same way to bring the kids to school. I don’t even think about it. I just travel the same route, on auto-pilot you could say.

Over the past week, I come to the same place and realize again and again, however, that the road is closed. Some sort of construction work is happening down the road. I can just barely see large dirt moving and digging gigantors lumbering back and forth in the distance. The signs are posted: ROAD CLOSED -- DETOUR. I make a sharp turn left, and take the detour route to school. One would think ( I would think) that I would remember, but I don’t. I keep coming up to the signs and then have to go another way. If I only remembered, I could take another way, be more efficient with my trip and avoid the aggravation of having to drive one more time, out of my way.

Life can be this way. We are creatures of habit, and we do tend to go the same way each day. Usually, we choose what we think is the easiest, productive, beneficial way, and yet sometimes, the road is temporarily closed off to us. We realize that we need to take a detour to get to our destination. This can happen in our activities, our circumstances, our projects, our dreams and in our relationships. It’s hard to see past the signs. The temptation is to ignore them and weave through the barriers and try to find our own way through the construction zone, instead of following the detour, but that usually does not turn out too well; we just end up having to turn around and go the other way, anyway.

So it is, dear reader, at times in our relationships and in our circumstances, God puts up “ROAD CLOSED -- DETOUR” signs. It is hard to know why, most of the time. Sometimes (and sometimes not) we can see past the sign, in to the distance, and realize that He is doing some work down the road that needs to be done. Maybe it is work in another person’s life that is essential for their health and healing. Maybe God detours us around our usual path in a circumstance or a project, in order to do some special work that we cannot do, only He can do. Maybe He takes us out of our way to show us a different view on things, in order to enhance our travel down that same road again.

Of course, all things are under the perfect and loving control of God. We try to peer past the signs and get a glimpse of what is happening down the road, but often we really can’t tell. I don’t know why the road is closed off, just that it is, and then we need to trust that whatever is happening it is for our good. Truth is, reality is, sometimes the road is re-opened and sometimes it is not. It can be frustrating, maddening, often saddening, but God is on His throne and He is working all things for our good and for His glory (Romans 8:28), not only in our lives, but in the lives of the people around us, and somehow He does this all at one time. Next time I come up to that sign (and I am sure I will), I am going to remember this and trust Him for all the detours in my life.

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