"If you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you haven't really learned anything." Muhammad Ali
Road closed ahead, the gps told us. Follow directions for detour. Expect delays.
We pulled off the highway at the exit, following the signs and the line of cars along a winding, narrow country road, past quiet houses on the outskirts of nowhere. The trail of traffic crept slowly, a line of red tail lights stretching into the distance. We often sat motionless, idling in grid lock, wedged between rumbling engines with no end in sight.
Inside our car, patience wore thin. We moaned and muttered about the injustice of this delay to the start of our vacation.
“By the time we get out of this, the week will be over.”
“We’ll have to turn around and go home.”
But as we waited behind a smoking diesel semi-trailer, it occurred to me that I didn’t know the reason for our forced delay, but God did. I considered that an accident may have closed that stretch of highway, or a construction team was working to make the road smoother for others. I began to appreciate that God had rerouted us along scenic country roads where the sun set behind distant hills. I gave thanks that our detour carried us around a scene of potential danger and got us moving again in the right direction. Despite arriving at our hotel three hours later than we anticipated, tired and irritated from the long delay, I felt grateful that we were safe and able to continue on our travels.
We are often forced to take detours in our lives. Trips don’t always go as planned. Routes change. Unexpected events make demands on our time, and unforeseen obstacles block our paths.
Too often we focus on our desired destinations. We fret about schedules and estimated times of arrival. We grumble and complain about where we want to be, when we should instead give thanks and appreciate whatever road we are traveling.
Today I pray you are grateful for the detour you are facing. Know there is a reason you are exploring that winding, twisting route along a road you may not have expected to see. Remember that God is leading you safely around any barriers that block your way, and He will put you on the correct path to your destination.
Where is your road taking you today? How do you show gratitude for the delays in your journey?
We often impose schedules on our road trips through life, mandatory departure windows and estimated times of arrival. We barrel down the highway, watching the speedometer, eager to reach our destination where the real fun will begin. Our goal is to put miles behind us, covering ground while keeping our eyes on the road ahead; but if we don’t take time to pause and consider our expectations and reasons for traveling, we may miss many important sights along the way. The following are a few reasons we should slow down and make time to for periodic stops along our journeys.
Stop to . . .
Listen to your spirit and decide which move forward is right for you.
Ask yourself if the time is right for this particular journey and what you hope to discover at the end of the road.
Calculate the cost of your new adventure and prepare all you will need to take with you on your way.
Think about your reasons for embarking on your travels and know that your motivations remain true to your heart.
When you have decided set out on the trip you have planned, make sure to take time along the way to . . .
Look around and get your bearings before proceeding on your path.
Evaluate your progress and make any needed course corrections, right wrongs, reverse wrong turns, and reconsider your next steps.
Enjoy the breathtaking views along your route, the unbelievable beauty of the world, and the unexpected ways God provides for all our needs.
Explore your new level of understanding as you encounter new experience and grow into new wisdom.
Once you have reached your final goal and celebrated your success, remember to . . .
Pause again to recognize how far you’ve come.
Appreciate all you have gained and give thanks for the courage, spirit, and determination you found to complete your journey.
Realize that success is not in achieving a goal but in learning a lesson and sharing what you have learned with others you meet.
Nurture a relationship and know that our most important blessings are the people who travel with us throughout our lives.
Finally, stop to pray in gratitude for all the twists and turns on your road and how all have contributed to the person you have become. Be happy that your journey is unique and special to you.
I wish you many blessed discoveries on your journey!
Where are you planning to travel this summer? Where do you expect to pause along the road ahead?