Pastor’s pondering

I am blessed that the two churches which I serve are only a few miles apart and accessible via a primary road.  Unfortunately, however, in the past few months, the commute between them has become a little more difficult, as a bridge along that primary route is being removed and replaced.  As such, all traffic is being detoured around the project for a period of about a year, while the construction takes place. 

Now, when I’ve had to take detours traveling along the interstate or in a major city, it’s not usually too bad.  It may take an extra minute or two and go a block or two out of my way.  However, when the detour, like my current one, takes you off the primary road and out onto some back country roads – watch out!  You never know what you might encounter!

I traveled the established detour for several weeks once the construction began.  It added about 10 minutes to my travels (nearly doubling my commute!), but the roadways were concerning.  They were narrow and windy with little to no shoulders.  So, you can only pray that you never encounter some traffic coming from the other direction, especially a big rig loaded down from its latest logging pick up.

In recent weeks, however, I have found myself being a bit more exploratory.  Where else can I travel that might still get me to the same destination, but, perhaps, in an easier and safer manner?  People would tell me about this road or that road, and I’ve tried many of them, settling on this one or that one dependent on where I need to go and how much of a hurry I am in to get from place to place.

We all encounter this in life, don’t we?  Detours that take us off the main path, sometimes onto less-traveled places.  Some aren’t too bad, but others, well, let’s just say, in some cases we would rather have stayed home than have to go down that road, right? 

This made me think about the Exodus of the Israelites as they left Egypt and were following God’s direction to the promised land.  In Exodus 3:18 it says “God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness…”  God took them not on the direct route, but a roundabout one through the less-than-usually traveled wilderness pathways, and the reality was they didn’t enjoy it any more than we do.  Those roads were more difficult and put them in some precarious positions sometimes.  But you know what?  God was still with them. In fact, Scripture says that God led them every step of that forty-year wilderness journey.  God was always present and guiding the way.  They only had to pay attention.

I think that’s the blessing that I’ve discovered about these detours as of late.  Regardless of which way I go, I know the path will eventually get me back on the primary path.  I know that, whether I travel the long or short way, the fast or slow way, God will always guide me to where I need to be.  The same for all of us.  So, I suppose what we really need to ponder today is – what detour are you on?  And are you allowing God to guide you, or are you out aimlessly traveling some scary wilderness paths?

                                                                        Always pondering,

                                                                        Pastor Steve

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