Detoured, Not Derailed
My daughter and I love to travel. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or just taking a little day-trip in the car, we thoroughly enjoy the excitement of a new adventure and discovering new things together. I am so grateful that we have had the opportunity for the past few years to experience some wonderful travel adventures together.
In recent months we have been on a lot of fun trips together, and each place has been new territory for us. Thankfully, we had our marvelous Maps app on our phones to help us navigate these new places. From getting from the airport to our hotel, to finding our way from the hotel to the event location, and even for simple things like finding a gas station or the closest restaurant to our hotel, that Maps app is everything! There is something really comforting hearing that voice come over the speaker, “In one mile, turn left on…” or “in 3.5 miles your destination is on your left.” I got so reliant on that voice, that if we were on an interstate for any length of time and I didn’t hear it for awhile, I would say, “Abby! Why isn’t she talking to us!? Did we miss an exit!?” In loving frustration, Abby would answer, “No Mom, we’re on this interstate for 15 miles, calm down.”
Now, one of my favorite features on this app is if I miss a turn or accidentally get stuck in the turn lane when I need to go straight, I hear these words, “recalculating route”. RECALCULATING ROUTE. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Then, like the voice of an angel, she gets us right back on track, as if we had never detoured in the first place. And you know something? I’ve never once heard that voice say, “Sorry, Sharon. You made that wrong turn back there, and now, I just can’t find a way to get you back on your original path. Seems now you’ll never get to your destination.” Nope, that has never happened. I mean, how sad would that be, if we put our final destination into the app, and then we make one or more wrong turns, or even stop for coffee, lunch or gas, and it couldn’t figure out how to get us to where we needed to be. Hello app developer! Re-do please! Or even more sad, what if we made that wrong turn, and Maps does its job and recalculates the route for us, but we decide to give up on our final destination because “we messed up and should have never made that wrong turn.” So we turn around and head back home to the comfortable, to the familiar. Consequently missing out on the wonderfully fun and exciting destination that was waiting for us, had we only kept going - wrong turns and all.
Now I know, we’re all thinking that would not be just sad, but also downright silly and dumb. Imagine, “Hey guys! How was your trip?!?!” “Oh, we never made it. We made a couple of wrong turns and had to stop for gas and food too many times, so we we just decided to turn around and come home.” What?! That would be ridiculous, right? WOW. As I started thinking about this, I could not help but think about my life, and how the Father is my Maps app. He ALWAYS knows the way to go. Our Father knows about the “traffic” ahead, and the “accidents” that will cause it to take us MUCH longer to arrive than it should. He knows the way around it, along with the best route that will STILL take us to our final destination. He knows exactly how to “recalculate” our directions so we get right back on the path He has for us, even when we are the ones that make the wrong turn, or we miss a turn. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us that if we acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths. Thank you, Lord! It doesn’t say He will direct our paths IF we don't make any wrong turns, or IF we miss a turn. It doesn’t say He will direct our paths IF we don’t make stops along the way. No. It says He will direct our paths when we trust in Him and acknowledge Him. Even in our mistakes and our mess-ups, all we have to do is acknowledge Him, repent and get right back on the path He has laid out for us. He never intends for us to just give up and “go back home”. He very much intends for us to make it to our final destination and has already done everything for us to ensure that we do.
The Lord spoke to me some time ago, “I’m not going to stop just because there was a detour. I’ll get more glory now than I would have before.” The tests in our lives produce the testimony. And even those things that we bring on ourselves, the wrong decisions or detours that we take, if we’ll give those over to the Lord, He’ll make that mess beautiful, and He will get the glory. So be encouraged today. A detour does not disqualify you from arriving at your final destination. You are not derailed. He is recalculating your route even now and working all things together for your good.