dead end sign and blue skyProbably my favorite thing to do is drive. I love to feel the power and control of my little red Honda CR-V. I’ve actually named him. Harvey.

I don’t really like to actually go anywhere. I just like to wander.  Besides, if I were to actually go somewhere that would mean that I would have a good idea of where I am headed. That certainly is not the case! For me it truly is all about the ‘getting there’ and not so much the ‘arrival.’ I love to pass by people’s houses and wonder how life is treating them. I wonder if they choose to live there or if they feel trapped. I wonder if they are getting ready for work, expecting someone to call or if they are waiting for someone to come and visit. Maybe they are wishing they could wander too.  There is so much life that happens as we pass by every day. I just like to appreciate it.

So, I was out wandering yesterday morning before work. My regular commute is less than 3 minutes which does not fuel my wandering spirit at all. It’s a straight shot from my house to my job. No turns and only 3 lights. Most days that’s ok because of carpool duty and life in general. But it’s not my carpool week! (And I hear all the moms in the world do a little cheer for me!) I decided that I would take the long way to work.

The long way just means, “wander till I get there on time.” So, there I was on a Monday morning driving like everyone else heading to work, but I was going against the flow of traffic. Away from busy. I just drove. And everything was moving along. I was singing and just enjoying my music. I had about 10 minutes before I was scheduled at work so I turned to head back.

The very moment I did traffic came to a stand still. I was suddenly engulfed in the rest of the world. All of them trying to get to the same place at the same time. My wandering was over and I suddenly switched in to really-need-to-be-somewhere mode. It seemed like there must have been a wreck up ahead or a stalled vehicle. Traffic was not moving. I really didn’t want to have to drive through whatever was slowing everything down.

So, I decided I knew a better way around this mess. I pulled out of traffic and headed down an unfamiliar side street. And wouldn’t you know, straight in front of me was a big sign in yellow and black that read, “DEAD END.” I laughed out loud to myself. Of course it was! Because I was now in a hurry to be somewhere. I was actually arrogant enough to think the sign didn’t apply to me and that I would be able to find my way around this dead end. So I just kept going. But, just like I had been warned, there was no where else for me to go. I had no choice but to turn around and go back in the only direction that was going to get me where I needed to be.

And then God chuckled like He so often does when it comes to me. It was almost as if I could hear him say, “Child. Why do you always do that? You’ll be driving along just fine in your life singing and praising. Then, when things look rough you suddenly feel the need for a detour. You get anxious and veer off so fast before you even know what the problem might be. All you end up with is a dead end. Just stay on the path that I have set before you and you will arrive exactly on time.”

I sighed because, as always, He was right.

As I continued driving, I realized there was no wreck or stalled vehicle. There was no danger in front of me. But the truth is that even if there had been something in my way the path marked out before me is the safest place to be.

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Bethany Donham

Bethany E. Donham is married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two beautiful teenage girls. She is a full time Minister to Preschoolers and Families, but has a passion for guiding others to see the world with a Biblical perspective through her writing.

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