When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, ‘Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.’ But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.
— Exodus 13:17—18

People used to go for drives just for fun. Whole families would pile into the car and spend afternoons driving around. They gazed at the scenery; they conversed with one another. Driving was an entertaining way to pass the time, like going to a movie or hanging out at a party. It was fun because of what might be discovered outside the windows. It was meaningful because of who rode in the cab beside them. I wonder if anyone does that anymore?

These days, I can arrive at my destination without remembering most of the journey. I only recall the negative moments: the place where a stalled car plugged up traffic, the time I was cut off by that driver on her cell phone. I rely on my Waze app to warn me of hazards and police cars ahead, and I ignore the rest. I forget I am speeding through God’s creation. I forget that his presence fills my cab. I focus on where I am heading and what I must do when I arrive there. I wonder if you ever do that, too?

How much more would I enjoy the journey, including inconvenient-seeming detours, if I were more aware that the God of the universe traveled with me? That he was with me every second, leading me on the path of protection, guiding me along the path of provision? I trust him with my forever. How much better would my detour feel if I remained aware that he is with me, right now?

Detours become opportunities for connection with God when viewed in that light. A detour ceases to be an inconvenient, confusing or scary diversion. Instead, it becomes an occasion to spend time in life-giving, relational time with the Person who loved me so much, he gave his very life to protect me from the death I deserve. Right now, let’s find Love in the detour. It won’t change the route, but it will change how we see what happens along the way.