It happens when we least expect it. We’re traveling down the highway, making great time, knowing we’ll reach our destination on time. And then, out of nowhere, we see it: the bright orange sign. It has two simple words printed on it, “Detour ahead.” Before we know it, we’re off the highway, traveling some winding two lane road. Our speed slows dramatically, and the traffic resembles a caravan of snails inching toward their destination.
Our typical reaction to the detour? We whine, we gripe, we bemoan our fate.
Jesus experienced a detour too. One minute He was in the fast lane. People crowded around Him, begging to see Him and hear Him speak. They call Him “Savior” and wanted to make Him king. They threw palm branches and their robes at His feet, praising Him as He entered Jerusalem. Surely, He was traveling quickly toward fame, riches, and royalty.
But a detour caused an abrupt about face to that trip. Jesus was arrested, beaten, humiliated, and nailed, nearly naked, to a rugged wooden cross. How did He react to this detour? He uttered two sentences that show His attitude to the detour. “Father…not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42) and “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Because He traveled the detour, which of course was the plan all along, believers receive eternal life.
On our highway of life, we will encounter unexpected detours. How will we react? Will we whine and complain? Or will we submit to the One who knows the final destination?