US 20 here in Elkhart County, Indiana has been under construction for a couple years and for months and months the westbound side of the highway has been closed to traffic. So imagine my surprise, several mornings ago when I pulled up to the stop light at the intersection of SR 15 and US 20. As I waited for the light to turn green, I’m sure I glanced at my phone and barely looked up as the traffic moved forward and I began moving in the direction I had become accustomed to. Merge into the eastbound lane and move slowly at the 40 mph construction zone speed. But wait. Something was off today. This didn’t feel right. Things were different. What I had become accustomed to…my normal route to the office was no longer in that far left lane. Instead now it was down the center of the road. Three lanes in front of me. Eastbound to the left, westbound to the right and a turn lane in the center. This is nice, I thought, as I realigned myself with the road ahead.
My dad used to have a horse that knew the way home from pretty much anywhere that he had been before. But change things up, turn down a different road or take the back way home and he would pull hard in the direction that he was used to traveling. My GPS does that now. “Turn right in two hundred feet…recalculating route, now turn left in 50 feet.” It’s so helpful and so annoying.
How quickly we become acclimated to the detours in our life. For a multitude of reasons we do things a certain way. We get into a pattern of living. We settle into a route, a method, a system which in and of itself may not be a problem but if it is a detour it may become increasingly difficult to get back on track, back on the highway, back into our sweet spot. Sometimes though, what feels like a detour may be a deliberate change in direction, not just merely a distraction or a momentary blip on the map ’cause it’s really God’s hand moving us into a better place. A place of learning and growth. Consider the Israelites on their 40 year journey in the wilderness or Moses tending sheep in the desert. So listen carefully to the Spirit of God, the helper, the advocate that was promised in John 16. Ask for discernment and wisdom. Then get back onto the highway, back on track to a preferred future and realigned with the road ahead.
Here’s the thing.
Detours are an opportunity to learn and grow so don’t miss the opportunities that exist on the side roads.
Change is our present reality.
God is on the move.
He is not stagnant and stale.
He is ever creating, ever renewing, always at work.
Look carefully and catch a glimpse of what might be, what could be.
REimagine who God is creating you to be.