This morning my body decided to wake me up at 6:30am. There was no prodding from an alarm clock, no loud clanging coming from the kitchen. Perhaps it was the reminder that at the grand old age of 26 I should no longer eat anything with salsa after 3pm. In reality, after a great night hanging out with Fuse students at our favorite little Mexican restaurant, a wonderful roommate chat that lasted way past her bedtime, and my own nerdy distraction which kept me up until nearly 1:30am, I had no business being up when my body asked me to.
There I lay in bed, pondering the necessity of my unwelcome, biochemically induced departure from sleep. I had this funny thought that I should get up and go for a run. While it sounded great beneath the blankets of my bed, I knew that, based on past history, my desires to actually run in the morning fail miserably. I compromised and convinced myself that a brisk morning walk was definitely doable.
The moment I stepped outside, the chilly morning air revived my tired skeleton. After taking no more than five steps, I knew that walk would turn into a run.
I planned to take my normal route, but about ten minutes into the process, I made a detour. You see, there was a guy walking about 15 paces ahead of me. He looked far more athletic and pretty dang handsome and there was nooooooo way this red-faced, no-makeup, glasses-wearing, messy-haired girl would pass him. Ya, I have insecurities. I took a detour for a really dumb reason.
I continued on my way and happened upon a street I hadn’t ever really explored before. Talk about residential buildings that take your breath away. Wentworth Street – between Smith and Ashley – is quite possibly one of the most beautiful streets I’ve ever seen. When I turned on Ashley, I decided to run around the park I always ended up just passing by. Cannon Park is adorable. I even noticed things about streets I had traveled down before. I had a greater appreciation for many things I may have once taken for granted.
Of course God spoke to me.
First of all, while I know heaven has building materials that trump anything the richest man in the world could use to build a house, I kind of hope that my house in heaven looks like a gorgeous, old, beautifully restored home on Wentworth Street. Second, I realized that, while beautiful, everything on this earth is temporary. I should enjoy and acknowledge and appreciate the beauty of what we have here, only with expectation of something greater.
Third, God reminded me that detours, even for the dumbest reasons, aren’t always a bad thing. No one ever really wants to take a detour in life. They really aren’t convenient, often they frustrate us, disappoint us, and take us through places we don’t actually want to go. Yet sometimes, detours are the best thing we could ever have.
This morning, I didn’t want to go for a run, but almost as if the Holy Spirit prompted me Himself, I did. Midway through the journey, I made a choice based in insecurity and took a different route. While I could have ended up in some mediocre part of town, I ended up somewhere far better than my previous route and gained a new perspective along the way.
I had the same goal in mind. It wasn’t like that changed. However, many times in life, because of our humanity, our fallen sinful nature, barricades in our path, family circumstances, insecurity, or whatever it may be, we take a detour. I have to believe, that, even though we do so, God can redeem any choice we make if we let Him. The detriment comes when we allow those things to stop us from finishing. I didn’t stop running because of my insecurity.
Hear me out: I’m not saying go out and make stupid choices. But the reality of this world kind of says that we will. I am saying, if you do make a choice out of fear or insecurity or misinformation or doubt, just keep going. Repent, carry on. I definitely feel like when God redeems those choices, we are more receptive to seeing what He wants us to see.
Life is all about what you make of the detours. God can use anything for our good and for His glory.