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Maybe It's Not Straightforward

The other night I found myself  heading out to the airport to pick up my daughters who had been away for a week on holidays together.

Excited to see them and to hear all the stories, I jumped in the car for the 25 minute straight drive on the motorway out to the airport. It was about 10:30pm, dark and without much traffic around.

And then I see the sign. Part of the motorway is closed, so exit at junction 7 and follow the detour signs. Okay, no need to panic just follow the signs!!  

Well, the signs weren’t very clear and I found myself taking the wrong road and ending up on the road towards the city centre rather than back onto the motorway.

After a few short prayers, prayed in earnest, I saw a sign for the motorway but going in the wrong direction. I decided to take this and at least then I’d avoid the city centre and I could navigate my way back to the right side of the motorway, which I eventually did successfully.  

There I was back to the exit I needed to take to avoid the motorway closure, but this time I saw the sign and took the right lane and away I went…only to miss another sign further along the way and ended up in a housing estate, doing a u-turn!!  Oh my goodness! At this point I was getting quite frustrated and a little anxious about where I was going and wondering if I would ever get back on the right road!

My thoughts were loud and clear: “How could you be so stupid!”, “You’ll never make it to the airport.”, “You’re lost, just give up.”

After a few more twists and turns, I eventually ended up back on the motorway and arrived at the airport just as my daughters were coming out. There was no need to park the car, so I just pulled up, they jumped in, and off we went – stories of the holidays and their travel experiences flowing. What a joy to have them home!

The next day, as I was reflecting on my little “adventure” to the airport, I started to think about the times I have given up when the road wasn’t straight or as simple as I expected it to be.  When I wasn’t willing to take the detour and to risk getting lost and I missed out on the gifts that God had prepared for me.

I often choose the path of least resistance, the easy option. (Which sometimes is just to stop and not push through – a true phlegmatic!)

The easy option will look different for all of us. For me it looks a lot like, saying yes, people-pleasing, and staying hidden. What fruit does this bring but overwhelm, resentment, and frustration.

Galatians 5 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A striking contrast to the fruit of my choosing the path of least resistance.

As I journaled the next day and reflected on my negative thoughts from the night before, “You’re stupid”, “you’ll never make it”, “your’re lost, just give up”, I held each of these up to the light of truth. Thankfully, I didn’t listen to these thoughts and give up the other night, and why didn’t I?  Because my desire to see my daughters was greater than the negative thoughts or the fear of being on the wrong road.

This led to me thinking about desire and the importance of knowing what we desire, of being honest with ourselves and with God about what we desire. This adventure is just further evidence in my life that reminds me of the importance of staying focused on the goal, even when the inevitable detours and u-turns come along.

Perhaps the detours and u-turns are not wrong turns, failures, or mistakes but maybe they are there to remind us of what we desire.

So what desire has God put on your heart? Are you willing to take the detours and u-turns to get to your destination? Are you willing to do the mindset work to uncover and change the thoughts and beliefs that are not aligned with the truth of who God says he is – who he says that you are? Are you willing to trust that His ways and timing are perfect?

Come and be coached on your desires and uncover the thoughts that are keeping you stuck and afraid to take the detours and u-turns!