Many times in life we end up places we didn’t even know we were headed. We make plans and have goals we are pursuing, when suddenly, we find ourselves facing a detour. We don’t realize that detour will take us down roads we never knew existed. We will see and experience things on that detour that we hadn’t planned.
But, I am adventurous and I don’t mind detours. Sometimes we end up at our planned destination at the end of the detour, other times we find other roads and paths we want to explore and never end up where we were originally headed. Our destination is altered.
Detours, by nature reroute us, taking us around something that is in the way of the path we originally planned. Maybe there is road work to make the path better, or maybe there was a wreck and the path is blocked. Whatever the reason that created the road closure, resulting in a detour, we are on a path that most likely we have never seen before. We are on unfamiliar roads, not certain of which direction to go until we see the periodic detour signs with their arrows, pointing us where to turn next.
Sometimes we end up exactly where we had planned once we get through the detour, but now we have seen things we had never seen before. Things and places we didn’t even know existed. It may be an uneventful detour and once we come out on the other side, we are glad to be on our way. It may be a detour with a lot of bumpy roads, pot holes, and overgrown weeds, or it could be an unexpectedly beautiful route scattered with flowers, trees, streams, and rolling hills. We may be glad once we come out on the other side, or we may resolve to take that route again, another time when we find ourselves driving on our regularly traveled road. We saw a place we had passed many times but never explored, and realized what we had missed. We became aware.
Awareness is an amazing thing. It may change your goals, or it may change the way you approach reaching your goals. Sometimes it isn’t our goals that need adjusting. We need to change how we approach achieving those goals. Detours help us make some adjustments that will help us reach our destination safely. It may take longer, but the detour was there for a purpose.
Some things I’ve learned about detours:
1. Detours can bring awareness of roads and places we haven’t been before. While on the detour we may experience some pot holes, poor road conditions, or weeds grown up all around the path. We have to be careful as we navigate the terrain so we come out on the path or road we were on before the detour. When a detour has unexpected poor road conditions, it doesn’t mean we should turn around and go back. We will still reach our destination as long as we follow the detour signs and continue on the path, even if it was not the original path we thought we would take on our journey.
2. Detours can show us beautiful things we weren’t aware of before. Experiencing these things enhances our trip to our final destination. We come out on the other side of the detour energized. When the detour takes us on an unexpected journey through some beautiful landscape and we see things we had not planned on our original planned path, it doesn’t mean you should stop there and not proceed with your journey to your intended destination. Sometimes we start down an intended path and experience something we didn’t even know existed that is breathtaking, and we slow down a bit to enjoy the view. We may actually enjoy it so much, we forget about where we were headed. We want to stay and enjoy the view so much that we become satisfied there and don’t continue along our journey. This is a crucial point where we decide if the original destination is still our goal, or are we satisfied just staying on the detour. If we still have a desire to reach our goal, we can allow the detour to energize us for the next leg of the journey. If we determine the end goal is more valuable to us than what we enjoy on the detour, we have to continue on.
3. Detours protect us when the road is dangerous or impassable. We usually think of detours as a nuisance, but they are intended to redirect us due to potentially dangerous or harmful conditions ahead. We can start down an intended path and find the road has been blocked. We don’t see what lies ahead beyond the detour sign, but ignoring the signs and proceeding anyway can lead to disaster.
4. Detours can be frustrating as we travel on our journey. They cause a delay and force us to travel unfamiliar roads. Sometimes if it is uncomfortable, we decide to turn back. It isn’t that we don’t want to reach our destination, but we don’t want the discomfort of the bumpy ride. It wasn’t part of the plan. If we really want to reach our destination, we may have to endure things we don’t like along the way. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t supposed to reach our destination. It means we have to adjust our expectations, realize we will have to endure some things to get to the other side. By nature, we don’t like delays, inconvenience, or unfamiliarity.
If you have a goal, an intended destination, expect there to be detours along the way. Detours are also intended to protect us from something unusual going on along the normal path. There may be road work that is dangerous to drive through, down power lines, or a wreck that you are being navigated away from. Going down the original intended path despite these things, could result in dangerous conditions or delaying your trip even more. Understanding that detours can potentially be part of any goal, will help you to gain the insight needed to continue moving forward.
I have experienced many detours over the past few years. Those detours brought me where I currently am...and quite honestly, I believe I am on a detour right now. I’ll share some of those detours with you another time.
That’s all for now!