3 Ways to Respond to Detours in Life

Okay, so some of you may have clicked on Dawn Alexander’s link yesterday and found someone else’s journey story. Yeah, I got my days wrong. I’m not telling my story until September. But she has a great blog, huh? I hope if you went, you followed. How’d you like that little detour?

And one other thing, how does Weight Watchers make their blueberry muffins so delish and moist at only 5 points? 

Okay, on with the show, this is it.

MONDAY morning, we headed for school.

We hopped in our mini-van and cruised the same route we take every morning. I turned right by City Hall, made the 4-way stop, and BAM!
 I slowed down. Myles asked, “What’s going on?”
“Are you going to get lost on this one?”
I ignored his above average sarcasm for a 7 year old. “No.” Please don’t let me get lost…again.
I turned right, and crept ahead. I came off auto-pilot and paid attention. Nervous and unsure, as I wound around streets and curves, hoping I’d get them to school on time and not end up somewhere unsafe. I saw the end of the Detour ahead, not far, I waited patiently to get out on the main road leading to school. Phew! We made it.
TUESDAY morning, we left later than usual, rushed and irritated. Maybe I broke up a fight or two over their shared sink. Mental note: When we move, kids must have separate bathrooms. Not because they’re spoiled, but I need morning sanity to last longer than the hour I spend with Jesus before they get up.
We took off on our normal route.
BAM! I forgot. Detour. 
I was not apprehensive or worried about where I was. I was in a rotten mood, a million things going on in my head. My internet was down. Imagine the anxiety. I growled, literally, when I saw the sign.
I whipped the wheel to the right and muttered under my breath, griping at drivers. I sat impatiently while traffic didn’t help me by making a space for me to pull onto the main road. I may have honked and shook a fist at a teenager or two. Possibly a senior adult driving Miss Daisy.
We arrived on time. But I was angry.

The Lord blew the clouds of aggravation away with His voice and reminded me of the day before and the moment we were in at the same time. Then He spoke to me about the way I handle detours and the way I should handle them.


Don’t be afraid of detours
“I put what you like to call detours in your life to make you slow down, wake-up, and pay attention. I know you get scared. I know it makes you nervous.” I felt the nudge to look up. The sky was incredible, the colors of a baby shower. “You think I can’t control where you’re going, when I can make this? Don’t be afraid.”
Don’t be angry at detours
“You think being angry and impatient with others will get you there any sooner? It won’t. It’ll only delay you. Do you think those drivers saw you as loving, gentle person, while trying to plow them over and shaking angry fists? Did your children see an example of how to respond to an unannounced twist? Why are you in such a hurry anyway?” His tenderness didn’t sear me with conviction, but wooed me to repentance.
Expect detours, plan for them

“You haven’t failed. It’s not too late to be a better example to others, to your children. It may be there tomorrow. It may not. But it won’t be the last one. You’ll get your chance to do it right. Plan for it. Expect it. You won’t be alone.”

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
How do you handle detours in your life? 

21 thoughts on “3 Ways to Respond to Detours in Life

  1. How do I handle the detours in my life?

    Kicking and screaming, naturally!

    I've had a lot, and I mean a LOT of detours in my life, and sometimes I feel like at this stage of the game I should be at another level (financially, or emotionally, or whatever). But, I have to remember that none of the things that have come my way are surprises to God, and that He has my back no matter what.

  2. Wise, wise, wise. Now if only God would blow away my aggravation when they come. He's teaching me that I need to be in prayer more when those clouds come along.

  3. I'm convinced in hindsight I learn the most at these times.

    ~ Wendy

  4. Beautiful post, yet again. God does have a way of teaching us from life, if we sit still and listen.

    I like detours. Sure, they might be scary at first, but they're adventures.


  5. Not well, I'm afraid. I tend to get stuck on my mental plan and deviations make me growly.
    I also get lost VERY easy.
    I hope today has gone better for you. LOL

  6. Gooooood morning everyone!

    I love seeing you all here, hanging out. I heart you! 🙂

    Today, I left early, paid attention, took my detour and sailed on through it all. Now, I pray the rest of the day goes as smoothly.

  7. Ahhh, number three made me gulp. But so poignant…I tend to growl at detours, too, but soooo often I find God's detours take me to better places than I ever could've gone on my own. It's just remembering that small fact when I'm on a detour that's the catch…:)

    And…I caved, I joined Twitter! So I can tweet this now!

  8. Ah, life's detours! Some days I handle them well, others, not so much.

    Driving detours on the other hand. I don't like at all. I prefer to know for sure where I'm going and don't like the uncertainty the new route brings. But those are my own control issues! 🙂

  9. I abhor detours. They interrupt my carefully laid plans and screw with my sanity. That being said, I think they might be good for me as I'm a bit of a control freak. And sheesh woman, don't waste 5 points on a MUFFIN!!! 🙂

  10. Great post! I love that verse at the end.

    I get so frustrated at detours and I need to be reminded to chill out, God has a plan. 🙂

  11. Love, love, love this, Jessica! Especially the part about detours helping us slow down – I've thought of them as times to learn to trust Him more, but I like the idea that in the crazy rush of life detours might also provide a chance to slow down, take stock, regroup for the next stretch of road.

  12. uh…sleep through them? Okay, I have sleeping on the brain.

    Lean harder on God would be the correct answer 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. I've never really thought of planning for or expecting detours. Thanks for the post!

  14. When life sends me a detour…I'm usually halfway around the orange cones and into the construction area before I realize I'm supposed to be on a different road.


    Still, God gets me turned around usually in time to avert a disaster.


  15. There's always a reason for a detour.

    One time we were heading down to Mill Springs, KY for a national Civil War reenactment. We were driving down this highway when we realized it was the wrong one…We needed to get over to the other one that ran parallel to the highway that we were on. It was about 15 – 20 miles to the east of us. Anyway, we went back several miles and found a road to take us over…and if we didn't take that little detour, we never would have seen some of the most beautiful horse country in the world…this road was like out of a movie or dream. There were lush green hills and valleys…we stopped the car and got out…staring in awe at the countryside. It was a gift from God. Never would have seen it if we didn't have to make that little detour.

  16. I am such an impatient person. Detours are things that I want to plow through, but I'm learning to slow down and realize that God is trying to teach me something. He doesn't rush. It helps when I remember that His ways are not my ways.

  17. Jessica – I LOVE this. I TRY to take them the right way, but usually fail. I SO needed this post!

  18. Marvelous post! I can so relate to your first two responses. Love the third: Expect detours and plan for them. Time to begin planning – knowing that the Lord WILL give me plenty of opportunities to be what I'm supposed to be in front of others. How encouraging to know that as He orchestrates the detour, He'll also provide the grace to do the right thing when it comes. Thanks for this reminder today, Jessica!! Hugs and God bless! 🙂

  19. You are so right–being angry and impatient helps no one. Yikes, and sobering when our children are around, cuz what are we teaching them? But then again, it shows we are human too, and if they see us learning from those situations or having humility or a change of heart about how we acted, it's still a win-win thing!

  20. Beautiful message – thank you, Jessica!

    How do I handle detours? With the occasional sigh, maybe a tear, but then head on. What else can you do?

  21. Hopefully better now that I've read this, Jessica! Thanks for helping me as we have so many detours around here lately that aggravation sure hits a high.


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