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Skip the By-pass

July 18, 2011

     Since the beginning of time, mankind has been trying to find a quicker more direct route between point A and point B.  Christopher Columbus ran into the Caribbean in his quest to find a more direct route to the Orient.  In early America the railroad companies blasted through mountains as they raced to cross our continent.  Freeways replaced highways and Americans were able to speed across our nation without those inconvenient hills, curves and stop lights.

     Currently in my town, the government is efficiently building a by-pass around our town, to give Hoosiers traveling north through Indiana, a barrier free route.  But just ask Lightning McQueen what he found when he got off the freeway and detoured to Radiator Springs.  CARS may be a cute cartoon but it has a message that is worth listening to.

     Last week I had to take a trip about an hour north in my quest to find a dress for my son’s wedding.  It had been a stressful morning.  I was running late to a speaking engagement; my first, and with only 27 days to go I still could not find a dress.  My girls were waiting anxiously at home so that I would take them an hour west to the youth conference at our church.  But the dress was the priority so I was heading north.

     In my past life of overscheduled craziness there was never time for detours.  Often I would see a cute store, a garage sale or fruit stand, but there was absolutely no time to stop.  We were on a schedule.  We were on a mission.

    But on this day as I drove north, oddly enough, I was relaxed and enjoying my quiet ride.  I let myself off the hook.  I gave myself and my need permission to come first.  

     As I drove down the highway, I noticed a sign for a lake that I have passed many, many times.  It was only one mile off the road.  I wondered what it was like.  My trip up north did not produce a dress.  But in my new relaxed state, it produced something else.  As I drove through this cute little town I saw a cute shop with a sidewalk sale.  I stopped.  I came away with two perfect lampshades for my bedroom at only $3.00 each.  I followed a garage sale sign through an adorable neighborhood.  Then I took the lake exit.  It was a small lake.  Its beautiful blue water was a visual treat.  What I found on this trip was the detours.

     Years ago when my boys were young we were traveling through Arkansas.  A road sign advertised a ,”dig your own” diamond pit, next exit.  I took it.  The curving winding roads went on forever and the detour began to take far longer than I expected.  The boys were restless so I described the exciting adventure that awaited us.  We were going to find diamonds.  When we finally arrived and pulled into the parking lot, my son leapt from the car and was down on all fours picking up the sparkling gravel and yelling “Diamonds, diamonds!!!   I did find a treasure on that detour, and I will remember it always.

     In our busy lives there is no time for dawdling.  We make full use of freeways and bypasses.  But what we may be bypassing is life.  There are diamonds to be found.  There are treasures waiting for us just off the beaten path, but if we don’t take the detours we will miss them. 

     Who knows what treasures and surprises God has in store for you that are waiting on the detour.


P.S. I just got an e-mail.  The blueberry farm will not open today after all. Sorry!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2011 5:48 pm

    I came home and read this I don’t want to miss what you write. It always makes me think of all the wonderful times I have spent with you and the family. I found my diamonds the day I was brought to you. Jody

  2. Susan permalink
    July 19, 2011 6:44 pm

    Robert Frost, was one of my 5th grade teacher’s favorites. I always liked this poem too. Love this verse too. Joshua 24:15
    But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

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