How Can We Embrace the Detours in Life?

detoursHow well do you cope when life’s detours happen and your plans all change? Vicki shares a unique perspective.

“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to” (Acts 16:6-7).

Inclement weather causes dramatically opposite reactions–children rejoice in an unexpected day off from school. Parents moan.

Traffic detours seem to inflict equal pain on adults and children. Is it possible to enjoy a detour? Our son did.

When Chris was in college, I drove him to see his brother march at a high school football game. On the way to the high school the cars came to a complete stop. No cars were moving on the highway. It became evident we would not make it to the game on time.

“Well, we’re stuck in a traffic jam,” I reported in sheer frustration.

He replied with glee, “My first traffic jam!”

My familiar inconvenience was a new and exciting adventure for Chris. All the sights and sounds fascinated him. He delighted in the sounds of sirens whirring past us. Peoples’ reactions intrigued him.

Chris noticed some people got out of their cars. He spotted passengers in oncoming cars gawking at the scene. I opened up my lunchbox and we enjoyed some leftover snacks. And prayed for the accident victims.

Okay, so it’s possible to enjoy waiting in a traffic jam. But can we enjoy the interruption to our plans caused by disease? Not so much.

I know I’m not the first person who’s been redirected by God. Even Paul encountered a divine detour. The Holy Spirit kept him from preaching the Word in the province of Asia. Really? How can that make sense?

Paul’s intentions were to further the gospel. But God had different plans.

We envision a particular life. But He interrupts our plans to direct us to His path.

After many curves and U-turns, I’m starting to accept traveling to a different destination. How is that possible? Often He graciously reveals His purposes. Then I can enjoy His adventure.

Prayer: Dear Father, It’s hard to relinquish my plans. Especially when I thought You’d be pleased with those I designed. I know Your ways aren’t like my ways. They’re more perfect. Thank You for tenderly helping me accept Your plans for my life. In Jesus’ name! Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33-year-old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. and she has a new picture book about bullying:
Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies,

What’s been the biggest U-turn in your life? How were you able to accept it?

We tend to think of the Christmas season as being a time when we need to accomplish a lot in order for people to know we care. And when we live with illness it seems we can never do, be, attend, share, or give “enough”–whatever enough is.

But where is Jesus falling on your list of Christmas offerings? This song, “Christmas Offering” by Casting Crowns reminds us that our most important offering should be to our King. Give Him yourself, your praises. It’s the most important gift you can give this season. -Lisa