Smile! You’re on camera! The sign was posted on a chain link fence that had been put across the running trail. I smiled, waved both arms up high in the air, and then did an about-face. I was disappointed about the roadblock, detour, and unexpected route change, especially since it was a place I had been routinely running for years. I couldn’t help but think about how this sort of thing frequently happens to us in our life journey.
When we have a routine, it is what we know and what we do. It is comfortable. So when all of a sudden we are faced with an unexpected change, it can be challenging for us to switch gears and go with it. However, that is exactly what the Lord wants us to do.
One of my favorite verses, found in Proverbs 3:5-6, tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” It takes faith and trust in the Lord to be at peace when we are being stretched in new and unknown directions. But if we can just take that step of faith, believing that the Lord has our best in mind, we will find the unfamiliar route, although uncomfortable, full of pleasant surprises and beauty.
We must be able to stay focused on the Lord if we want to experience the fullness of joy He has for us. If we are busy complaining about how hard things are, chances are, our attitude is going to reflect just that. Jesus doesn’t want us to feel overwhelmed or discouraged. In fact, He wants us to feel excited and follow His lead down the new path He has for us. Trusting in Him, step-by-step, makes it much easier when we encounter the potholes, bumps, or grueling hills of life.
If you are able to take your focus off the detour and the rough road, you will find the Lord places much beauty along the way. And when we start seeing those things, and having a thankful heart, and praising the Lord for all the good in our life, something beautiful begins to blossom. It is a joy that comes only from being content right where the Lord has you, embracing what He is doing in your life.
I ended up running back on a rough rocky road instead of the smooth dirt trail I was used to running. There were hills, and I was hot and tired. However, as I set out, I discovered I was under an umbrella of towering pine trees, which provided cool shade. The rolling hills were actually refreshing, as I was able to pick up my pace on the downward side. It was quite beautiful with the carpet of pine needles and scattered pine cones that covered the uneven rocky terrain. There were purple sweet peas and wild yellow daisies in the greenery along the banks of the canal. There was a refreshing breeze, and the birds were singing their praises!
Had I continued with a disgruntled attitude, I would have missed out on the joy. I was glad the Lord had rerouted me. It was a challenge I needed, and I enjoyed the new adventure. The Lord always knows just what we need. It is up to us to rise to the occasion and embrace that roadblock, detour, or unexpected route. Take that step of faith. Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Thy Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” You won’t be disappointed!