Have you ever driven in a city and found yourself going through a construction zone? I can hear the collective 'yes'. There have been times when navigating these roads in such conditions that I've found myself forced to slow down, change lanes and drive on a completely different road for a period of time. On some occasions I've experienced a bit of stress thinking that the road I was on was going to take me somewhere I didn't intend to go. But then something assuring happens. The road I was on, by carefully planned detours by the engineers, takes me back on to the 'right path' that I intended to embark on. After a little slowing, a little yielding and a merge, I'm back on track and I reach my destination.
I have to say that this is the place where I'm at in my walk on the Way right now. For 26 years I've been a disciple of Christ, trying to grow in the Way, a pastor and teacher, trying to show others the Way but for the last six of those years I've been in the market place. What I thought could have been a wrong turn has been one of those roads that the Engineer has re-routed me through. I looked over the barricade (figuratively speaking) and saw the road I used to be on, the road I thought I had to be on, and got a bit stressed that I wasn't on it. I questioned why I had to make the turn in the first place but, by the Grand Design, I followed the detour and continued my journey. This has caused me to slow down, yield and I'm seeing a merging, a connection happening. It's the right path.
You see, the safest route to take in a construction zone is the detour. Every detour has lots of signs. If you ignore the signs, you take the wrong turn. If you don't obey the signs, you make a mess.
Every detour has lots of signs.
Signs are the messages that we absolutely have to understand on the road we're on. We don't put the signs there, the engineer does that. We don't dictate the path they direct us to. The engineer does that as well. Our only requirement is to simply obey the signs.
You see, Christ is the Way. As we walk with him, it is inevitable that we will be presented with changes of direction, detours and roads to go down that we never thought we'd ever have to go down. Whatever 'detour' you are going through or, at some point may go through, listen to the messages that the Engineer is telling you and, most importantly, don't forget to slow, yield and merge. Remember, ultimately the detour isn't there to stop you from getting to where you're supposed to go. The detour is there to get you safely back on the right path.