Saturday, July 21, 2012

Detours



Driving is not one of my passions.  Somehow, the Lord in His infinite wisdom has arranged my life, however, in a way that I have to, against my strongest desires, drive a lot.  At any rate, one of the reasons I don’t enjoy driving that much (I could write a whole series of posts about the things I don’t like about driving…hmm, sorry, I digress yet again) I was saying, one of the things I don’t like about driving is that I am disoriented by nature.  My internal GPS got damaged at birth, so unless I know the way like the palm of my hand, though I don’t know the palm of my hand that well either now that I think about it…anyway, unless I am super familiar with the way, I will get lost.

Therefore, I really exercise the “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5: 17) command when I drive, particularly in the event I should hit a road block or a detour.  Needless to say, I pray a lot during spring and summer. : )

For instance, a few days ago, I needed to go to my Mother in Law’s house,-a road that is super familiar to me.  As soon as I rolled onto her nice country road I see the bright orange lights flashing next to a “road closed” sign.  “You’re kidding me?” I wondered aloud.  “She said the road was open! What happened?”  I knew the road had been closed for a few days due to some this or that.  Obviously, I had not gone down that way since.  But the day before, she told me it was open again.  Well, it wasn’t.

I remembered my husband saying something about another way to go there that was easier than the usual long way around half the county, so I figured it was time to test it.  Well, I figured wrong.  I drove around and couldn’t find it so I ended up having to back up and go on the long way after all, which means this time it was extra long.

After much frustrated mumbling under my breath, I made it to her house and I did what I was supposed to do there for her, but, boy, was I exhausted.  

I guess it is kind of the same way sometimes in our Christian walk.  For one reason or another, we encounter detours and roadblocks that cause us to go around the long way in order to arrive at our destination.  Even though the way that is closed is the shortest, seemingly smoothest and most effective, it is not the prescribed one,-ask the Israelites, right?  I mean, they hit the longest detour in the history of the world.

The Israelites had moved about in the desert forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD. For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land that he had solemnly promised their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Joshua 5:6

Rather than going straight through, the LORD Our God made them wander around for 40 years due to their disobedience.  They were not ready for a straight through walk and a speedy arrival to the Promised Land.  They needed the extra time to think, to grow, to mature in their faith and to become a cohesive community which would withstand the test of time.  Their time going in circles in the dessert strengthened them as a people and as believers.  Without that time, the Israelites arriving to the Land of Milk and Honey would have been a sorry bunch of whiners and spoiled brats.  Instead, the Israelites who took Jericho led by their fearless leader Joshua did so in such a magnificent way because they faithfully trusted and obeyed the LORD.  

I know that my mission the morning that I hit the detour on my way to my Mother in Law doesn’t compare to conquering Jericho (all I had to do was feed her 15 year-old dog).  But it was an opportunity for me to meditate on the way of the Lord, which more often than not seems simply incomprehensible to me.  And a chance to praise Him for His plan is always perfect, even if it takes us around the long way home.  

2 comments:

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