Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{day twenty} back roads and detours...

Sometimes our best laid plans and printed maps and time schedules and well-devised directions are altered.

Sometimes you have to take the back roads and detours to appreciate the journey.

And despite the added length to your trip and the inconveniences, you still arrive at your final destination.

Tonight, our plans to travel to Alabama were thrown off course due to Interstate 20 being closed because of a traffic stop.

We had to take back roads through all sorts of towns just to find an exit that was open to let us on the interstate.

I felt my anxiety creeping up as I focused on the destination and time it would take us to arrive. All my planning had been rearranged. That sort of thing has the tendency to throw me into a tizzy.

{Praise God for Mr. Rand McNally, aka my husband. He is a human compass with the ability to navigate less-travelled paths to reach the desired destination.}

Once we were safely on the interstate and traveling at an acceptable speed, I felt that familiar stirring in my soul.

The Holy Spirit was trying to get my attention.

My life has taken many detours and back roads. Paths that caused me stray off course. Roads that led me to no where in particular. Streets that dead-ended in heartache.

But these roads and detours have served a purpose in the path that I am traveling now. The narrow path.

I spent many a year on the wide, paved road. And I had fun traveling that path. But I always knew something was missing. I knew those roads would never deliver me to the destination I longed to see.

At the ripe old age of twenty-four, feeling lost and turned around, I started reading the Map. Directions on how to get on the narrow path. Promises to show me the way. Words to guide me. Words to lead me. A story of the One who paved the way.

Had it not been for the detours and back roads, I couldn't fully appreciate the journey I am on now. I couldn't look in the rear view mirror and see how far I've come. And I couldn't stare straight through the windshield, eyes focused on the destination, and see how far I have to go.

As my family and I make our way down the interstate, full of excitement and anticipation of wrapping our arms around our friends, our extended family, I am grateful for the detours and back roads. Because of them, I found my way to the narrow path. And now I rely on Him to keep me on course.

'Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.'
Matthew 7:13-14

What detours and back roads are you most thankful for?

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