Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Like Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” I think the reason that people fell in love with the character of Forrest Gump was because he represented innocence. There was a boyish sense of wonder in everything he did. He seemed to embrace the unexpected with both arms.
When life takes a detour, how do you respond to it? I was taking our furry kids (dogs) to the dog park the other day, and there was a big sign that said “Expect delays.” I appreciated the warning, and you know what? I was expecting the unexpected as a result. The funny thing is…there were no delays.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a flashing neon sign show up to remind us regularly of the unexpected things that were going to be coming our way? That is a trick question. Actually it would take the wonder out of our world. Also, it might actually be a bad thing in that there may be a good reason you are on the detour instead of the main highway. Part of faith is not walking by sight. Walk in faith. If you know your ultimate destination, the delay is just a temporary roadblock.
Principle 1. When you encounter a detour, take it in stride and relax. Why get up tight and worry about something that is out of your control?
Principle 2. I actually pray for Divine encounters. You know why? They are wonderful, and the funny thing is, I never know when they are going to happen. A Divine encounter has a blessing that you will otherwise miss. So, don’t miss the blessing! A Divine encounter is something that happens because of God’s intervention. If He did not orchestrate it, it could not have happened.
Principle 3. Expecting the unexpected gives you an attitude of inner peace regardless of what happens. If you are expecting the unexpected, you are not shocked by delays, detours, dead-ends, and even unexpected tragedies. I don’t get paralyzed by the unexpected. It actually makes my mind function at a higher level, because I operate with an attitude of expectation. I don’t want bad, evil, or tragedy to happen to me, but when it does, I deal with it. I know that is part of the journey too. Rain falls on the just and the unjust. As special as I may think I am, I am no better than anyone else. Thus, it does not crush me or destroy my spirit.
Remember that detours in our life are often there to protect us. Numerous stories have been told about people who missed a flight, only to learn later that the plane went down and everyone was killed. Or, a car that had a flat tire in a storm and kept the people from going into a river where the bridge was out. Or, on 911 the people that could not get to work in the twin towers on that tragic day for reasons beyond their control. Or, the relationship that you thought was so vital that went south on you, only to find that you were now in the right place at the right time to meet your soul-mate. So, the delays and detours of life can be a blessing in disguise. Start counting your blessings. It requires taking a chill pill and waiting on God. His timing is perfect, by the way. He is always on time and just in time.
Worry does not add one day to your life, and only causes stress on you and on others. Let it go. Ask God to give you His peace. He will.