• Jane Wheeler

Detour


We were on the highway headed to a specific destination my hubby and I.


This story could happen between spouses, friends, parents and children – anyone travelling in a vehicle together.


We had put the address we needed into the destination finder app, you know the one that talks to you in her British or whatever accent.


“In 300 meters turn left onto Windsor Street.”


Now in our car, or perhaps it is simply “my” rule, but the driver drives, and the passenger navigates, sign watches, and helps clarify the voice lady on the app.


On this particular day the app said we were 17 minutes away from our destination. We headed down the highway and travel gal said, “take the left lane at the fork in the road.”


I repeated what she said out loud, making sure Brian had heard correctly, “take the left lane at the fork in the road,” and settled back in the seat. When my husband turned right, I sat up and stared at him curiously. He tells me that he does not think that travel gal is sending us the right way.


Silence fills the car along with slight tension, but I hold my tongue (hard to do) and think about the fact that we have travelled many miles together, so I let it be and wait to find out.


We spend the next 20 minutes (remember we were only 17 minutes from the destination according to travel app) going around in what appeared to be a large circle and get back on track. Brain appears to be annoyed with this detour but I do not mention a thing.


We now are only 13 more minutes to our final destination, plus the 20.


Travel gal says, “stay on this highway for 13 kilometers until 153 Ave turn off.”


Right away we see the sign signalling the 153 Ave turn off and I point it out to Brian so he realizes how far away it is. We know the area when we get to 153 Ave so we turn off the app to save the battery.


I glance up a bit later to see 153 Ave rapidly appearing and disappearing quickly and yell out while pointing, “153 Ave!”


Brian does the road check and launches across 3 lanes of thank goodness, empty traffic from the very left lane sharply to the right and is very angry and it seems to be at me at this point.


Horrifically and incredulously I stare at him and in a rather loud tone, and no more holding back, I let loose, “What’s up?! Travel gal says turn left back there and you go right for a 20 minute circle and now she says turn at 153 Ave and you almost miss it and blame me! This must be how we treat God – He gives us clear directions and we ignore them!”


Brian calmly says, “you were the navigator, you were supposed to tell me.”


“I did! 7 minutes ago! But if you ignore the directions….”


He looks at me and says, “Is there a blog in this?”


“Could be.”


There are clear directions that God gives us and He actually is quite gracious in the way He treats us. He is the navigator and we are the driver. He simply states where and which way we should go and it is up to us if we drive by our turn, turn the other way or take the appropriate exit. The ultimate decision is ours.


Yet when we take the wrong exit or the opposite direction and it does not go quite so smoothly, we tend to get a little cranky and often blame God for the mess of our own decision. How fair is that?


Poor choices, ignoring the navigator – it is our choice. God laid out the plan and it is up to us to listen and it is our choice to even open the car door and let Him in to navigate. He is not sitting by idly watching, He is running beside the vehicle knocking on the window of our heart asking us to let Him in. God is fully invested.


We do life our way and then it gets messy and we blame Him for not fixing it or even for letting us make the wrong decision in the first place.


This happened the night before when the navigator, me, booked a hotel in Sherwood Park instead of Stony Plain or Spruce Grove and took us clear to the other side of the city, where we did not need to go. They did all started with "S"....and the navigator got a little hot and bothered, ignoring the fact that she had made the reservation!


I am so thankful for the verse that says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28


This verse never implies that bad things or horrible things will never happen, it does not state we won't make bad decisions, rather it states that no matter what bad things or horrible things, or wrong turns or ignoring the directions happen, that God can make something good come out of that bad, IF WE LET HIM. We also need to give God time to make the good, it does not come immediately or often soon, it takes time.


That requires acknowledging our part, our lack of faith, obedience or whatever it is and handing Him the mess and asking Him to please do something with it.


But if we keep driving our self around thinking we know the way, not asking for directions – a well deserved and often long detour is probably headed our way.

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