Summary: A wandering from a direct route. A different path. Unexpected turns and obstacles. What do you do when your life takes you down a path for which you didn’t plan?
Pt. 1 – Detour Decisions
I know we all have pet peeves. There are certain things that push your buttons and cause your perfect day to become your worst day. I have buttons! I am an ordered person. In other words, I like to travel the same route every day. I don’t like to alter from that path. I don’t like to go a different way. So with that said you know that I am one of those people who can’t stand a detour. I hate seeing those road blockades and signs that force you to leave your intended path and to deviate to a new path or direction. Why? Because detours usually cause you to lose time. A detour causes you to feel lost and uncertain of your way. The journey that started with confidence and calm now becomes unsettled, unsure and and uneasy. I hate detours! If I am planning to go down Rockwell I want to go down Rockwell! I don’t want a scenic route to see neighborhoods I have never seen. I will leave that to you adventurous, carefree, not on time unless you are 15 minutes late folks! I don’t want to detour!
However, I have discovered that detours aren’t just a reality in our car they are a reality in our lives. Our lives are interrupted constantly by detours. As much as we like for our lives to be ordered and set in a certain set direction and path most of us are either in the midst of a detour or headed for a detour and so we are uncertain, unsettled, and uneasy. So we need to talk about detours!
It may seem weird to end year with a series like this . . . but for some when the clock ticked past 11:59pm on Dec. 31st, 2011 and 2012 broke onto the horizon your expectations were different than what your realities are now. Now you look back and go I didn’t expect to be where I am right now. I didn’t expect that job to come to end. I didn’t expect that relationship to come to a conclusion. I didn’t expect to face the struggle that I have faced.
The nature of a detour is that it brings us to an unexpected end (at least on our part)! In fact the definition of “detour” is a wandering from the direct path.
Text: Genesis 17:1-2, 17
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God showed up and said to him, “I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt! I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge family.”
Abraham fell flat on his face. And then he laughed, thinking, “Can a hundred-year-old man father a son? And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?”
Abraham has grown old. It is apparent that his hope for a son is over. Yet, God steps in and makes Abraham a promise. It is the promise of an inheritance, a legacy, a future. Any of you ever receive a promise from God that seems impossible? This promise brings life back to an old man and an old woman. This promise brings a reason to live again. The laughter of doubt is overcome a year later with the laughter that only a child of promise can bring into a home. Can you see the scene as a 100 year old man and a 91 year old woman cuddle with this bundle of promise? (Use Tal) Their dreams can be seen in the eyes of this boy. He is their hope. He is their God promise in the flesh. Life should now be nothing but joy, success, and story book in its ending!
But then the detour comes . . .
Genesis 22:1-2, 6-10
After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, “Abraham!” “Yes?” answered Abraham. “I’m listening.” 2 He said, “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac his son to carry. He carried the flint and the knife. The two of them went off together. 7 Isaac said to Abraham his father, “Father?” “Yes, my son.”
“We have flint and wood, but where’s the sheep for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “Son, God will see to it that there’s a sheep for the burnt offering.” And they kept on walking together. 9-10 They arrived at the place to which God had directed him. Abraham built an altar. He laid out the wood. Then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son.