How to Face a Delay

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?

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