I love getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. I want to reach my destination on the quickest route with no lolly-gagging allowed. However, this past weekend my husband accompanied me to a writer’s conference in North Carolina. As I took this trip I was fraught with purpose and determined to accomplish my goals but we decided to lolly-gag just a tad.
A detour to the Smokey Mountains was a peaceful delight after weeks of focused work. The trip confirmed that detours in our lives are a must. Too often a road, or life detour only brings us aggravation but there really are many reasons to love detours.
A detour offers the opportunity for a change of scenery. We are creatures of habit. We love our routines and function in them well. I’ve often missed a turn on the road because I was in, “the zone” heading the way I always go. Please tell me I’m not the only one that forgets where I’m going as I’m driving. I’m just following my regular route with my mind elsewhere when all of a sudden, I wonder where the heck I’m headed. A new path not only will help us to pay attention, it affords an entirely new view. Our lives need a dash of newness and a joy that comes with the discovery of new sights.
A detour offers a route we were unaware of. We all function with a limited view point and limited information. Our phone may alert us to the fact that an accident up ahead will cause a 30-minute delay but we don’t know what’s ahead on our path as we live our lives. It’s easy to function based on our own understanding and limited knowledge of how the path we’re on will bless or harm us. It’s good to stay focused on goals but it’s also good to be flexible as detours appear that can also help us arrive at our desired destination, possibly quicker and along a better route than the one we were aware of.
A detour offers a break. In a world of rushing and living our lives according to the to-do list, a detour can be a needed breath of fresh air. The quality of our lives should not be measured by the completeness of our to-do list. A quality life is measured by the love and joy we give and receive. A detour can very well be time given to another or a switch of focus from ourselves to the world around us.
A detour gives us time to refocus – We wake up and start the day, driven by a routine and the events that happen to us. Often our actions don’t line up with where we want to go but we’re stuck on the freeway and we’re missing the exits. A detour gives us a moment to check our compass to make sure we are still heading north.
A detour introduces us to new experiences. As creatures of habit and comfort, we don’t often step outside our comfort zone and go to new places and meet new people. We like people and activities that are familiar. However, sometimes the fear of things that are new, keep us from meeting exciting people who can add so much to our lives and going to destinations that may very well be the adventure of a lifetime.
A detour helps us see things from a different perspective. Our thoughts can be so redundant that we actually create neuron pathways in our brains that are like the permanent rock-hard wagon trails to the old west. We can all be victims of “rut” thinking. A detour may be the only thing to rescue us from that rut and offer a new perspective.
A detour can teach us something new – We don’t know it all even if we like to think that we do. Problems that arise can be an opportunity to learn something new. Instead of becoming frustrated take advantage of the opportunity to take a detour of knowledge.
A detour helps us find a better path – The road that we’re currently on may not be the right one. We travel down our familiar roads because it’s what we know to do. A detour can be an eye opener and we may realize that we were on the wrong path and that there’s a better way.
Detours help us learn to trust God – We know how to be self-sufficient. We have it figured out. A detour brings us face to face with our inability to know all the answers, which is a good thing. God wants us to rely on His sufficiency and a detour reminds us to trust more and figure it out less.
A detour can be for others. At the end of our trip to North Carolina we made another detour to Louisville to help our son. While beginning a new school year he had run into multiple problems and issues. He was thrilled to have our help. Detours are not always for us. There are people who need us and we may not notice until a detour gets our attention.
So, the next time a detour sign pops up on the road before you or in your life, look at what you can learn or how you can grow because of it.
All the photos were taken on our detour to the Smokey Mountains.
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Seasonal pleasures take on an entirely new color palate when autumn arrives with its abundant harvest and continual festivals. Pumpkins are everywhere, and we’re so glad that they are. We find that we are just as happy that school has resumed as we were when it let out. Sapphire blue skies frame bales of hay. Coziness becomes the goal, and contentment seeps into our bones. Autumn is delicious, a season of extravagant loveliness and abundance. The pleasures available are as simple as a lone amber leaf, the misty autumn fog or a smiling jack-o-lantern. Be stirred by these 75 autumn pleasures and join the fall party.