This is an article that I wrote as a guest columnist for the Daily Press here in Yorktown, VA.
Detours frustrate me! The pesky orange signs that send me out of my way, around the corner, to another street, forcing my GPS to “recalculate” are not a welcomed sight. But here’s what I’ve discovered: sometimes it’s the detours that take you on the most scenic route or to hidden destinations or that allow you to experience something that you would’ve missed on the regular route. Think about this. Some of you need to stop despising the detours of your life and start discovering your destiny in them. When things don’t go as planned, when life doesn’t deal you the hand you expected, when the carousel ride seems like it’s more down than it is up and you can’t seem to get a break, don’t be defeated by it! You see the detour as a roadblock. You see it as an insurmountable hurdle. You think you can’t overcome it. You’re about to be defeated by it. But, God sees the detour as the roadway to your destiny. God sees the detour as the pathway to build your character. He’s using the detour to make the journey sweeter and the celebration louder. There’s value in the looping detours of life…if you can find it.
Detours can be the breeding ground and the catalyst for a life of victory, and yet far too many of us allow detours to become the breeding ground and the catalyst for a life of defeat. The detour you’re facing doesn’t have to be a dead-end; it doesn’t have to be a race around the cul-de-sac that ultimately leads you nowhere. The detours of life can become an exit ramp off one path and onto a new one that leads to living the life God always desired for you. What’s your response when things don’t go as you had planned? What do you do when you expected life to take you one place, only to end up at another? How do you handle the disappointments of marriage, work, relationships, and finances? When you end up where you don’t want to be because of a looping detour, what do you do? You’ve got to learn how to find the value in the looping detours God places in your life.
God can use the difficulties of your life to advance you to greatness. I know it’s not the pathway you expected. I know it’s a different route than you anticipated. I know it’s a little longer and it’s a little more scenic and the road isn’t quite as smooth. That’s why it’s called a detour. I know it’s not how you planned it. But if you’ll have a stick-to-it-attitude through the detour, God can use that failed relationship, He can use your messed up finances, God can work through your unemployment, through your loneliness, through some tragic event, through some painful loss. When there’s a roundabout way that God seems to be taking you in your life, don’t despair, don’t get defeated. The detour may be the pathway to your destiny. You just have to stay on the road, change your perspective, and be on the look-out for what God is doing.