March 22

The really happy person
is one who can enjoy the
scenery on a detour.



Today's Meditation:

Aren't detours wonderful?  I look at them as life's way of showing me something that I wouldn't have seen otherwise.  They're me being guided or led (or I suppose even forced) to go in a direction or on a road that I would have chosen to avoid had I been able to do so.  Some of the most amazing things that I've ever seen have been on detours--and I don't just mean being redirected while driving my car.

Sometimes life pushes us into little detours, too-sometimes we find ourselves going down roads that we never expected to travel because a job ended or an opportunity fell through or another opportunity arose that we never could have imagined.  Sometimes when we think we have our route all figured out, boom!--life throws us a curve ball and we end up doing something completely different, going somewhere completely unforeseen.  And when that happens, life will still offer us wonderful scenery--even if it isn't the scenery we had planned on seeing.

Some people find detours to be frustrating or annoying or even awful.  And when they're in the state of mind that makes them see things that way, their eyes aren't necessarily open to the beauty of their new route--because they're focused on where they wish they were instead of where they are.  Perhaps they're worrying about the detour taking twenty minutes more than they had planned on, or they're worried about not finding their way back to their original route.  Or perhaps they're just not open to new and different things, preferring instead the "safety" of what they knew and what they had planned on.

But in a detour is a gift--a chance to see something that's new and different and unplanned--almost like forced spontaneity (a great oxymoron, no?).  And if we follow that detour with a closed mind because our attitude is negative, we most certainly won't get anything out of it.  But if we keep our minds and hearts open, we may find in each detour that we take something that will help us to come closer to being the people we were meant to be.

Questions to consider:

What makes us think that the path we've chosen--be it a road when we're traveling or a career or course of study--is necessarily the best one for us?

Why do we think of detours with negative connotations?  Are detours necessarily negative?

What does it take for us to enjoy the scenery on any road we travel?  How much of our enjoyment is due to our attitude?

For further thought:

We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do
is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. . .
I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me
and 90 percent how I react to it.  And so it is with you. . .
we are in charge of our attitudes.

Charles Swindoll


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