Certainly some detours are meant to keep us safe from harm. But many of them we choose to take to fulfill our selfish desires. They can pull us away from God’s perfect path in the blink of an eye. Only through His Word and power will we remain where He wants us to be. The rewards are much greater than our fleeting, and perhaps unfulfilling pleasure.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Detours and straight paths
A widespread, three-day storm in northern Wisconsin recently left thousands without electrical power. Houses were flooded. People lost their pets. Some farmers lost their crops. Many roads, if not entirely washed out, have weakened in structure. And several people have lost their lives.
Besides the more drastic results of the storm, many of us are having to change our travel plans around road conditions. As I’m scheduling a few day trips to market my new book, I find myself studying maps, checking online for road detour updates and asking for advice from friends. Some closures won’t last long since there was little or no road damage. Others, however, may affect travelers for weeks and perhaps even months.
Finding the best detours can be challenging. They all require more miles driven, more gasoline used and more time taken from our regular schedules—all for the sake of avoiding something unpleasant or dangerous. Detours taken to check out new and interesting places or to visit someone along the way, however, can be fun and relaxing.
Fun and relaxation can be important, especially when we must face difficulties and hard-to-solve problems. But sometimes I find myself taking other kinds of detours from God’s straight path. I spend too much time and effort trying to do things on my own strength. Or I focus on non-essentials and frivolous, time-wasting pursuits. If I’m not careful, my detours can become bad habits. Only through God’s Word, prayer and the power of His Holy Spirit am I able to find my way back to His path.
His Word tells all of us how to avoid detours. “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet …” (Hebrews 12:13) It takes persistence and Godly wisdom to stay on the right path.
Besides availing ourselves of God’s Word and power, we can pray whenever we find ourselves faced with detours. “Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness … make Your way straight before my face.” (Psalm 5:8)
Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness, Your power and Your love. Help us stay on Your perfect path. Guide our steps and keep us focused on You alone so we will avoid the detours that can cause us to step out of fellowship with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.