Navigating the highways and byways of life can be tricky. Life surprises you sometimes. One example of this is when you are driving on an unfamiliar road and a road closure sign pops up, giving you barely sufficient time to adjust your trajectory. Or there is a bend in the road and coming around it you see a car muffler lying in the middle of the lane. Or even when you notice a highway patrolman scanning for speeders, and you realize you were going seventy in a fifty-five. At those times there can be the need for a split second decision. This is a small part of a normal life existence.

Most of us have experienced detours in our driving history. The frustrating thing about detours is that once you begin following one, you have no idea how long it will be or how far you will deviate from your route. Once or twice I recall seeing a sign indicating how many miles the detour will be, but those signs are few and far between. When detours interrupt, we sigh and mutter, “Oh great.”

Still with a nod to the driving theme, this is applicable to our spiritual life as well. Believers can be brought up short when God allows something to happen that is unforeseen. When what you don’t think will ever happen does. Or vice versa. The best response to that dilemma is to remember when we don’t know, God does.

It’s safest and best for us to consider spiritual detours that way. Safe, because it keeps us from losing precious time being scandalized over it. Best, because we grow in trust. If our life ends up going in a different direction than we expected, we need to rest in the divine Planner. In the same way, if someone we love appears to make a poor choice outside of godly boundaries, we can trust the great Navigator to correct that right of way.

The Bible says that God longs to be gracious to us, even in difficulty, and I think one way this is shown is His willingness to show mercy and direct us. Isaiah chapter 30 describes this grace, and says in part, “…though the Lord give you the bread of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (vs. 20-21)

When I was in my late twenties, I discovered my first round-a-bout. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a round-a-bout is a road laid out like a wheel with streets like spokes going off that central wheel hub. The center, or hub, is a one way street going counter clockwise with only right turn offs allowed to prevent collisions. So basically, you can keep going around the wheel, or you can turn off at any of the right turning spokes. I remember thinking, “This is weird,” experiencing my introductory go around, but I could see the store destination, and I managed to arrive there successfully.

In the spiritual sense, I do not admit to immediate success in my spiritual round-a-bouts. Sometimes I keep going around the hub of that wheel. That scenery can get real tiresome until I realize which spoke of the wheel I need to follow. The Lord patiently waits and redirects until I see where he wants me to go.

When God brought the captive Israelites out of Egypt, He did not take them the shortest, most direct way. In Exodus 13:17-18, the verses show that because God knew how they would react to the shortest (and realistically preferable) route, He took them another way. Their enemies the Philistines resided in the path of the shortest route. “For God said, ‘Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.’ But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.” (vs.17b-18a) God was also going to purify the Israelites during this great journey, and purification takes time.

In our lives, the result of too many detours or failed round-a-bouts can feel like stalling out. When we get frustrated and weary at all the difficulties and seemingly real or imagined wrong turns. (Often, the seeming wrong turns aren’t wrong turns at all, but God’s directive). But the frustration really just gets in the way, and I have realized I must learn how to handle the additional miles as well as that weary, run out of gas or stalled altogether feeling. By and with God’s mercy and patience.

We are NOT misdirected if we ask for and follow the Lord’s leading to the best of our ability. A beautiful promise in the Bible says, “In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6) Maybe we should write that on a sticky note and put it on our dashboard as a good reminder of His ever present direction!

“God does not call us to follow His commands to their logical conclusion. He calls us to follow them to their illogical result.”-Brian Logue

4 thoughts on “Misdirection

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

SonRise Community Church

That the Glory of God would be the glory of this City

Backyard Bird Nerd

"Consider the birds of the air...."

His eye is on the sparrow

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.


a work in progress


Learning through all of life's up and downs, with God as my companion.

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: