Being Still, Faith, Trusting God

Detours: When We Take Wrong Turns

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I saw the detour sign . . . and it told me to do the opposite of how SIRI directed me.

I’m not afraid of driving in places I’ve never been before. The upside of having GPS on my phone is that I can call on SIRI to get me directions to almost any place I want to go.

The downside of this is that, sometimes, SIRI is wrong.

Or, she’ll direct me on a longer route than necessary. I’m not sure why. It’s always a tricky decision when things seem contradictory. Follow the signs, or follow a satellite-directed app?

On this particular day, she had already led me the long way to a freeway. As I neared the freeway exit SIRI told me to take a certain turn. A large orange sign said the road I needed was closed. So, I made a choice.

Ignore SIRI (try not to gasp too loudly).

All of her directions to me were to get me back on track. But I was certain something hadn’t been updated in her instructions. After all, the sign leading to the exit ramp I needed said it was closed. SIRI was misinformed.

Yes, it’s happened . . . once or twice.

I’ve learned from experience that if I take a different turn, SIRI can always get me to wherever I needed to go. But this time, every turn she gave me was to get back to the road I was certain was closed.

I spent twenty-five minutes driving on wind-y roads, trying to find another way to my destination. Trying to “persuade” SIRI to give me an alternate route.

Finally, I prayed.

I know. I probably should have done that at the first sign of contradiction. Seeing no options but to follow SIRI, I exited the freeway where she directed.

Much to my surprise, the road was open. And the location I’d tried to get to for the past twenty-five minutes was a mile off the freeway. Yes, I felt a little foolish for not following SIRI’s instructions.

This got me thinking.

How many times has God given me some instruction about something? The signs I see in daily life tell me the opposite of those quiet words in my head.

It’s too easy to ignore that quiet nudging and go with what seems right.

More times than I care to admit, I’ve made wrong turns trying to get somewhere. I’ve tried alternate routes on life’s road based on faulty information. Or based on how I misread the signs.

How many times have I been certain that I knew better than God? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

We all must choose who we trust. 

Do we trust in ourselves? Do we believe we know best?

Do we trust the messages the world sends us? Do we read the signs of our times—of our culture—and make decisions based on what they tell us?

Do we listen to trusted friends and family?

Do we know how to listen to God’s voice? How to recognize it when we have decisions to make?

God offers guidance. He gives us nudges in our hearts. He speaks to our minds. I find this too easy to dismiss, because often His words come out in my voice, if that makes sense.

The thing is? God never steers us wrong.

He knows the paths we should follow.

God has created a special journey for each of His children. 

We must decide . . . are we going to take the route He’s mapped out for us?

Or are we going to forge ahead driving on the side roads, taking wrong turns because we are determined to do what we think is best?

I’ve done it both ways. I’m learning the value of being still so I can learn to recognize God’s voice. God doesn’t aim to make things as difficult as possible for us.

God doesn’t promise things will be easy, but He always knows the best way through the detours of life.

Even when SIRI makes mistakes, God knows the best routes for us to travel.

What about you? When have you taken a wrong turn and learned something surprising? How has God been directing you lately?

Click to Tweet: We all must choose who we trust

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup at Abby McDonald’s and with Holly Gerth today. Come read more wonderful posts!

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32 thoughts on “Detours: When We Take Wrong Turns”

  1. Jeanne,
    The verse that comes firmly to mind when I read your post is: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5). Oh the times I’ve followed what “feels” right at the time, but I’ve learned that feelings can lie, but God never does, nor does He steer us wrong. Great reminder!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  2. Thank you Jeanne. Your illustrations with SIRI are timely and speaking to me. I have never been great with driving directions, and I am learning how God brings that same lesson around again and again until we learn it. Talking about surrender on my blog and live today. May He bless your day with His ever-reaching love.

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    1. You’re right, Julie. God does bring lessons around again so we can learn them. I like to think of it as He’s teaching the important lessons on deeper levels each time, if that makes sense. We learn a certain aspect of a lesson, and when He believes we’re ready, He brings us a different aspect of the same overall lesson. I don’t know if I’m explaining this correctly, but yes, I agree with you. 🙂

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  3. Case in point: for whatever reason GPS signals get twisted out here in the country and our guests cannot trust their devices to bring them to us, so we have to give correct directions. I had never thought of this in light of your application here, but so thankful for these wise words, Jeanne.

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    1. Michele, that’s kind of funny. Where we used to live in Las Vegas, GPS would always lead people to turn in a field that hadn’t yet become a street. And, when we were visiting family in Hawaii one time, we were trying to find a restaurant in a smaller town and SIRI told us to turn on streets that didn’t exist. That’s partially why I say SIRI usually leads us right. 🙂 I’m so glad God always has a clear vision for where He’s directing us in life. 🙂

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  4. You are definitely not alone! It is easy to make decisions based on what we see around us, or to struggle to hear God’s voice in the midst of all the other noise around us. I love that, like SIRI, God can always redirect us when we take a wrong turn.

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  5. I’ve become quite dependent on my google maps app. I do sometimes miss the days of my paper map where I could see the entire picture, understanding more where I was at and what was around me. Now I can get quite narrow focused with just knowing the next turn and the approximate time of arrival. God though knows the entire picture, doesn’t He? Expanding my focus on Him instead of the next turn never steers us wrong, but can be hard with for this gal that likes to take the wheel!

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    1. Lynn, I’m like you. GoogleMaps or SIRI often give me directions to new places. I’m thankful for it. But, I do like to get a view of the route before I leave. So, I try to make the apps give me an idea. There is something about physically looking things up on a map that give me anticipation about going somewhere new. I love where you took your comment. Yes, expanding our focus to God will never steer us wrong. 🙂

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  6. Definitely not alone. I think we all have at some point argued with SIRI – funny when you write it but not when you are in the middle of the discussion:) And just has disastrous when we try to reason our point of view with the prompting of the Holy Spirit!

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    1. You made me smile, Jennifer. I’m SO glad I’m not the only one who’s argued with SIRI. 😉 And I agree. It’s not funny when you’re in the middle of the “conversation.” Learning to lean into the Holy Spirit’s promptings is always the better option, don’t you think? Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  7. Oh my, can I relate! So often I ignore those gentle nudges. Thankful for God’s patience and grace. And Siri has led me astray a few times too! 😉 Thanks for joining us today, Jeanne. Love this message.

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    1. Abby, I’m still not always good at hearing and acting on God’s gentle nudges. I’d like to say that the older I get I’m becoming more attuned to them . . . more of the time. 🙂 SO glad I’m not alone on the SIRI matter. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    1. I agree, Sarah. It is not easy to be still and listen to God. Especially in this day and age. But, when we do this, He meets us and that does make the practice worth it! May we both grow in this area! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  8. Loved your post and yes, I’ve taken some wrong turns in my life. I’m thankful God redirected my paths! I get a “check in the Spirit” at these times. This is when I realize that I have run ahead of God, again, and I need to turn around and wait for His directions. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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    1. Robin, I’m so thankful God is always with us, and that He does redirect us. I admit, I’ve run ahead of God too . . .once or twice. 😉 Thanks so much for visiting. It’s nice to “meet” you!

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  9. Oh, friend – it’s been far too long since I visited you here, but I’m so glad I did today. I feel God weaving a thread through all the posts I’ve read today and yours continues it. I’m facing some changes and I could allow fear to send me on a detour, seemingly away from God. Or, I follow His lead and stay on the road, TRUSTING that He’ll lead me to where I need to be – or maybe even throw up a stop sign. You’re words meet my heart, and I’m so glad to read them. Sending you a big hug today.

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    1. Tiffany, you have been on my mind TONS. I’m so glad you stopped by too! Isn’t it interesting what tries to distract us from the path God wants us to follow? I’ve given in to fear more times than I want to admit. But you’re right. We have a choice. We can give into fear’s leading or yield to God’s leading. Praising God that He spoke to your heart. Funny…that is what God does to my heart when I read your words. Hug received and returned!

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  10. “Even when SIRI makes mistakes, God knows the best routes for us to travel.” This post spoke to me, Jeanne. Been looking at ALL THE THINGS, and learning to lean in, listen, and say yes to God alone and firstly. Then the good sauce gets added on. Always. Thanks for the reminder. (Perpetual heart emoji…)

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    1. Christina, we have to choose to be intentional when it comes to saying yes to God alone, don’t we? I’ve messed that one up so many times. May we both lean in, listen and say yes to our Father alone. So thankful for you, friend!

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