As a male I have been genetically created with a unique characteristic, I struggle to ask for directions. I can’t tell you why but from the dawn of time males have been created knowing they just can’t stop to ask for directions. Males have learned to compensate by becoming “explorers,” the master of the detour, the scenic route or my favorite, the “short cut.” In each case, we are forced to change direction, to take a different path or route that originally planned to reach the destination that we had hope for.
I wonder if God put that inside of us purposely to remind us that following him is not always a clear path from A to B but is filled with scenic routes and detours. Saul persecuted Christians for a living, and was quite good at it. One day he was riding down the road to persecute more Christians and God literally knocked him from his horse, blinds him and has a heart to heart with Saul. From that day forward his name would be Paul and he would become one of the greatest supports of Christians as a missionary to the area around the Mediterranean Sea. Saul would not have become Paul without a little holy detour. God calls Abraham to give up his son and only at the last moment does God step in and say, stop, I have a different plan for you. Abraham may not have been in a place to see or understand the detour God was about to place before him if he had not offered to give up Isaac as God had asked. God then made him the father of a powerful nation, the people of Israel.
Holy detours are not just a part of our faith; they are something that should be expected. God will often lead us down a road, to mold us, shape us, grow us, and help us to gain perspectives we could in no other way, as a way to prepare us for the road ahead. Holy detours allow for God to take us places that we may never have found or explored on our own, experience and see things we could only imagine, and see God at work in ways that grow our faith deeply. Do we have the perspective to enjoy the detour, to learn from it, or is it just another distraction, something holding us back, keeping us from our goal? Can we see God in the detour, and His Spirit guiding us on the “scenic” route? You never know what God may lead to, that you never would have stumbled upon on your own. How do you think Christopher Columbus found America?
- What is one detour you can think of from your life?
- What have you learned or experienced on the “scenic” routes God has lead you along?
- Are there challenges in detours of life? What might they be?