Life in Detour
No one like detours. If you’re an impatient type-A person like me, you really hate detours. I don’t build enough margins in my day for extra time to get somewhere. By its own nature, a detour is a slower, longer, less convenient way to get anywhere. Who wants that? But it has been in the detours of my life that I have grown the most.
As I take inventory of the times where I made the most progress in the professional, personal, as well spiritual parts of my life, I can point out to specific “detours” that forced me to get off the highway, take the slower more cumbersome path that would eventually lead me to a place a discomfort but growth at the same time.
I remembering taking a detour in college when my parents called me on my 19th birthday to let me know that they couldn’t send me any more money. Brazil had new laws for sending money outside the country, and besides they could no longer afford to pay for my tuition. Not the call I expected. But that detour led me to trust God in a real way that I had never done before, and looking back, it was the best gift I could have received. During that season I transferred my dependency from my parents’ resources into God’s hands, an excellent exchange.
While some personal detours are inconveniences, others are painful. Some we bring upon ourselves, like the time I allowed the wrong person to manage my team, others come without provocation. But however difficult it is to be content in the middle of something we didn’t plan for, or wanted in the first place, we can easily find ourselves there again unless we are willing to learn and grow.
Chances are that we are going through a detour in some area of our lives right now. It might be a career, relational, physical, spiritual or even an existential one. What should we do? I’m not sure. Each detour is different. I just know that there’s always a growth opportunity, a lesson to learn, or simply a much needed slower pace somewhere in the midst of the inconvenience.