“Life is just like an old time rail journey … delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
Detours. Love 'em or hate 'em, they are a fact of life. By definition, they are not anticipated and can cause a change of plans. I don't know about you, but my life is full of detours. Some welcome, some not so much, but all unexpected.
detour : a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure;
Sometimes the detour is nice ... like a friend calling on the phone to chat when I had nothing to look forward to except doing laundry all afternoon ... anything to get out of house work :)
Sometimes the detour is a pain in the "you know what" ... like when I am running late to an appointment and an a traffic jam causes me to run even later.
Sometimes the detour is truly painful ... like an illness or a broken bone.
Sometimes the detour is just downright sad ... like a death or loss.
Last Sunday, our pastor at church challenged us to look really look at the detours in our lives. To see if some of these unexpected twists in the road might actually be opportunities for good. Specifically, he was talking about opportunities to share our faith with others outside of our "normal" circles, but I think his message applies to day to day living too.
My brood is notorious for creating detours for me. The day I have planned rarely ends up that way. Sometimes (more often than I care to admit) I become frustrated and may ... ahem ... become a bit short-tempered with my chicklets. I am trying to become more open to life's interruptions, but it's hard.
Another "detour" in my life right now is the fact that my brother-in-law is moving out of state. I am happy for him and the reasons he has chosen to go, but it's certainly not welcome. Not only am I going to miss him, it has caused me to re-visit my sister's death and the grief I thought was passed. I don't know why, but at times it has felt like losing her all over again and it's hard.
My parent's are getting ready to head back home to Florida. In fact, they had planned to leave tomorrow but my mother is experiencing some leg and back pain that has made them postpone their trip for a few days. It hasn't been easy watching them become frailer this past summer. It is only a matter of time until they move here permanently and rely on me even more. I will do it out of love for them, but it's not exactly what I had anticipated doing at this point in my life and it's hard.
The detours in my life have one thing in common ... they are hard. They throw me off course and if I'm not careful, I'll take it out on those I love. I am so thankful I don't have to do this all by myself.
“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28 (CEB)
It's a fact that detours are a given in my life. They are going to happen no matter what I do or don't do. I will do myself and those that depend on me a great disservice if I don't learn to sit back and do my best to enjoy the ride. I may not like them, but as the popular saying goes ... "It is what it is"
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.