Another Word…by Gus Keiser

August 14, 2017


Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us.  Only then will we be saved.

                                                                                                                                       Psalm 80:3 

 Penn DoT has been threatening for weeks with signs regarding planned work to my primary access route to work. And this week the work’s finally begun and the restrictions have started.  As to how long the work is going to take and just how long the reduced lanes or total closures will exist is anybody’s guess.  What I do know is that…after the original “Oh Great” exclamations cease, I’m going to be forced to find some alternate way of getting to work without having to add on too much extra travel time.

But then again, detours do have there up sides sometimes. Over the years I’ve encountered numerous detours, both in my cross-country travels and in trying to get around locally.  Most of the time, I find myself grumbling and complaining as I travel these “other roads” while usually not paying attention to the “new” surroundings.  Sometimes these alternate routes include roads in the area that I’ve maybe been on once or twice over the years, roads not all that familiar to me.  However, after an incident that occurred several years ago; I’ve become a bit more conscious as I travel these detours.  It was during one of those grumbling, mumbling moments, as I came around a bend in a road, that I was treated to one of the more fantastic fall vistas I’d ever experienced.  There was this small stand of trees that was just exploding with some of the more brilliant color I’ve ever seen.  I actually ended up pulling over to take in its beauty for a few minutes before moving on.

It wasn’t until I was down the road a ways, when it hit me that, given the hurried and less-than-happy state I was in, God had provided that detour so I could once again appreciate the beauty of his creation. Its beauty lifted my spirits, got me out of my “blue-funk” mood, and sent me on my way more determined than I’d been previously to enjoy the rest of my day.

But wait; doesn’t it seem as if God might be just a bit too busy to take the time to create something as insignificant as a detour? Doesn’t he have far better and far more important things to do?  Well, God does have the time (after all, all time is his time, isn’t it?) and even detours are a necessary part of his grand plan for our lives.  He did it to the Israelites and he does it for us.  As they were on their journey to the Promised Land, their story tells us that “God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter… God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.

 As we know, it was there, at the Red Sea, that one of God’s greatest displays of power took place, the parting of the waters so the fleeing Israelites could pass through on dry ground and escape their pursuers. There’s no question that this was one of God’s planned detours.

But oh, how incredibly impatient human beings we are. We want our minute-by-minute plans uninterrupted.  But then there’s God who factors into our lives, and he often wants us to slow down and to open our eyes to his many wonders.

It’s in the forty-first chapter of Isaiah, that the prophet recounts God’s wonders of nature, and he follows that with these words: “…so that the people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

 I don’t know if you may have to travel that same road I take to work, or if you in your travels may encounter some other detour, but the next time you do, immediately pray to discern God’s leading. And then open your eyes as you watch and wait to see if God may be working in some unexpected way.  You may just end up being in store for blessings you never anticipated.

Lord, open my eyes that I may see all of the blessings you share with me. Amen.

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