Don’t Despise Life’s Detours

Bold black and orange detour sign with wispy clouds in summer sky background.

It was the right path, and no could have convinced me otherwise. Since I was 11 years old, winning an Olympic God Medal had been a dream of mine; and every minute of every day, I dedicated myself to reaching that goal.

But the path I was traveling down came to an abrupt end due to an undiagnosed condition that severely weakened my muscles and coordination.

That was the first detour I experienced in my life. Throughout the years, I have experienced many more detours that altered my plans and sent me down another path. But I have learned to accept life’s detours as a blessing and not a curse, regardless of how disappointing or inconvenient it may have seemed at the time.

Years ago, I had a close friend who experienced a bad break up with his significant other. He truly believed this was the one for him and he was making plans to pop the big question to her.

Then, the unthinkable happened when his phone rang, and all he could hear was crying on the other end. About 15 seconds of silence passed before my best friend listened to the words that crushed him.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do this anymore,” she said. The break up nearly caused him to give up on love, but less than a year later, he unexpectedly met a young woman who was new to the area. Today, they will be celebrating four years of marriage.

Often, we view detours as negative. However, detours are literal and figurative signs that we are supposed to go in a different direction. That new direction may not be a path we expected or a path we choose. But if we learn to embrace life’s detours, the new route just might be filled with the things we need most instead of the things we want.

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