Life’s Lessons


Taking the scenic route

By Helen Guilford



I don’t know why my friend decided to share with our Sunday School class about my tendency to “go it alone” or, so to speak, fly by the seat of my pants, but she did.

While she didn’t specify just which occasion she was talking about, I knew! And, yes, there have been many such occasions. This one stood out in her mind, I suppose, for the same reason it does in mine. We were on the verge of being late for a meeting I needed to attend. My instructions were to “be on time.”

She told how I would just travel in a given direction being quite sure I was headed the right way. She said I wouldn’t stop and ask directions and that I wouldn’t use the GPS.

In this case, I did stop and ask directions, actually several times. We were looking for a specific church, and the first three people I asked had no more idea where that church was than I did!

Wouldn’t use the GPS? Actually, I’m usually pretty good at that! That’s why I have it. However, since I didn’t have a street address for the church, the GPS was no help. If I had known how, I might have been able to locate it on the Places of Interest menu, but being electronically challenged, I didn’t know how to access that!

We finally saw a man at a business where he apparently did some delivery work. I pulled in there and asked him. He gave us directions and we drove right to the church – late for my meeting as I expected.

Many years ago we labeled this trait of “knowing the way” and not needing to ask directions. It is called taking the “scenic route,” and is often longer than the usual way. That label came from my oldest brother doing the same thing. We had many good laughs about his scenic routes – after we recovered from being disgusted with him.

Now, I know the scenic route practice has long been attributed to the male portion of the population. At least I learned from one of the very best – my brother! And, I’ll admit, I do it well, though I do rely more and more on my GPS when I have a street address available. Sometimes I disagree with it and strike out on my own, but it’s still there when all else fails.

In our Christian walk, I think most, if not all, of us stray into the scenic route from time to time. We may or may not consult the Bible, our Book of Directions (our GPS), but then we insist on having our own way. Now, I’m speaking from experience here, so maybe you don’t do that, but from having talked with many of you readers from time to time, I have a feeling our Christian walks all exhibit times of traveling the scenic route.

Sometimes we stay off course a long time. Other times, it’s just for a short period of time and then God gets our attention and we get back on course. Is that straying always wrong? I don’t think so, if we use the scenic route for growth.

There are multitudinous scriptural examples of God’s men taking the scenic route. Yet, they ended up as examples to us in both the Old and New Testaments. As we view it all from this period of time, we wonder why God led in specific ways – or was that God’s leading? Rather, did that Biblical personality take the scenic route and at long last come to an understanding of God’s leading? After all, like us, they were very human.

Be sure your scenic route leads you right back to where God wants to use you.

Taking the scenic route

By Helen Guilford

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