The Hurstview/Pipeline intersection was closed AGAIN. It’s not just the way I get to the church but also the way I take my son to school each day to avoid as many lights as possible. But now I had to find a different way.
So, I drove through one neighborhood to avoid one school zone, turned right on Bedford Road and left on Precinct Line Road. I still had to drive through another school zone, but it was mostly okay. I waved to the crossing guard as we drove by and kept going.
And I did it again the next day, and the next, and the next . . .
Then one morning, as we got into the car, my son said, “Are we going to drive by the Happy Lady today?”
“The Happy Lady?” I asked.
“Yes! The lady who always waves at us when we drive by!”
He was talking about the crossing guard on Precinct Line Rd near Donna Park Elementary. Rain, shine, hot, cold, she is there, always with a smile on her face. The Happy Lady.
And I realized just how much I also enjoy driving by the Happy Lady each morning. Her smile and wave greet me, and everyone who drives by, as she waits to help children and families safely cross the road on their way to school each morning. And on those mornings when it is crazy getting out of the house and I may have raised my voice a decibel or two (Okay, most mornings. It’s MOST mornings!), she serves as a reset for us; we focus on waving and smiling, and it changes our day for the better.
The Biblical narrative is full of God’s people getting detoured. Moses was just out taking care of the sheep when a burning bush detoured him back into Egypt. The Israelites traveled the roundabout way for forty years between Egypt and the Promised Land. Ruth’s detour came in the face of the death of her husband and father-in-law, and she ended up as the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus. I’m sure Mary, an unwed teen, felt detoured as she found herself pregnant with the Son of God. Each detour provided space for God to do God’s work in unexpected ways.
I, too, have experienced many detours in life, things going differently than planned – sometimes welcomed; sometimes not. And yet, even in the hardest of life’s detours, I have met God there with me and I was changed. The detours become a part of my story, usually enriching it – or at least making it a little more interesting.
The Hurstview/Pipeline intersection reopened yesterday (yay!) and this morning is was cold, dark and rainy. I was tired and could have easily gone into autopilot and gone back to our usual route to school. However, I made an intentional choice to turn right on Bedford Road and left on Precinct Line Road just so we could wave at the Happy Lady. And we will do it again tomorrow.
That’s the thing about detours. Sometimes, if you allow yourself (or have a small voice reminding you from the back seat), you discover amazing things and you actually make a choice to never go back to what was before. And your life is richer for it – at least mine is!
What blessings in your life started out as detours?