Not Another Detour!
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

We all know that feeling when you are driving down the highway and the dreaded orange sign appears on the horizon, “Detour Ahead.” All you want to do is get to your desired destination, and now you will be delayed by a detour. Did you know that the first item on a Google search for “detour” is a statement about traffic control that reads, “Detours frequently offer another distinct advantage – efficient traffic reduction.” Didn’t you always wonder what was really going on just past the detour sign? Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe someone is just playing with traffic. Maybe a bridge is out, and had you kept going you would have driven off the bridge into a river. You never really know.

A few years ago, my son Tim and I were going to Washington, DC for a few days of sightseeing. We both love history and we were looking forward to spending time in our Nation’s Capital. We left home mid-afternoon and hoped to be in DC at a decent hour. As we traveled down Interstate 81, there before us was the dreaded sign. The next thing we knew, we were heading west, not south. My heart sank as I realized that our hopes of a timely arrival were slipping fast. As we drove away from the interstate and into the mountains of Pennsylvania, we soon started descending into an old mining town. It was so quaint with old homes and old businesses. It was as if we had gone back in time 75 years. Yes, our detour added about 45 minutes to our trip, but what we saw was amazing. It just took us processing through the disappointment of a delay so we could see history all around us. Which, in reality, was why we were traveling in the first place.

Detours are just a part of life. How we process through the detour is up to us. We can whine and complain that we won’t get to our destination as fast as we would like, or we can take a deep breath and open our eyes. As our world speeds up, reality is left behind, just like the old businesses, motels, and attractions that line the road that was once the “fastest” route. Detours allow us to slow down and see what once was. As I approach the next mile marker of life at the end of this month, I wonder how many attractions I have missed as I rushed to my next “important” destination.

Economic challenges, health challenges, and employment challenges are also detours that can have blessings buried within. When you are faced with a detour, take a deep breath, slow down and look around. As you move forward on your detour, amazing things will appear.

If you would like to hear more about detours, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 155 of The Next Page podcast as we discuss detours we have taken.

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