Interstate’s detours often just like life

Interstate travel in 2010 entails detours. That’s the nature of an aging interstate infrastructure. A drive to Nashville on Interstate 65 proved it to me.

A huge sinkhole near Hartselle closed the northbound lanes completely. The detour routed vehicles several miles out of the way. Major traffic jams resulted.

On my way home, bridge repairs closed a ramp onto I-65 south of Nashville. Another detour. Signs instructed drivers to “Take Alternate Route.”

Travelers across the country encounter similar detour scenarios. A lot like life. Who hasn’t faced life detours?

The Bible details numerous detours. Take General Joshua for example. The Lord commissioned him to lead the armies of Israel to conquer the promised land.

Joshua began with a resounding victory at Jericho. Future success seemed inevitable. At Ai, however, the people marched into a detour.

Overconfidence and unfaithfulness produced a terrible defeat. “As a result, the people’s hearts melted and became like water” (Joshua 7:5). Detours mess with your momentum. Joshua’s challenge? Get the people around the detour of defeat and back on God’s highway.

Every detour presents a learning opportunity. Gratefully, the people repented. They returned to the pursuit of the goal with greater zeal than before.

What detours block your route? Sometimes you cause your own detours. You spent money on a product of poor quality. It didn’t last. You opened your mouth when you should have kept it shut. A relationship got fractured.

Other detours arise due to circumstances beyond your control. The tragic death of a spouse turns your life upside down. Someone ran a traffic light and wrecked your car.

So, what do you do with detours? Remember the highway continues somewhere on the other side of the roadblock. Trust God to guide you around. That requires patience and faith that knows the right direction. A detour may slow you down. But it doesn’t have to end the journey.