“Oh no! My alarm didn’t go off!” I thought to myself as I looked at my clock. It was 7 a.m., and I had to be at school by 8 a.m.. I rushed out of bed, scrambled to get ready, gobbled down a quick breakfast and ran to my car with my backpack and keys in hand. My high school was quite a drive away. We had a big science test my first hour of class so I did not want to be late. I knew that if I was going to make it in time, I needed to take the shortcut. This was a small country backroad which crossed over a bridge.
The route was clear, so I made good time. When I reached the bridge, I looked at my watch: 7:40! I was going to be OK. Crossing the bridge was easy. But on the other side, I encountered a telltale orange sign with black bold letters. “Detour, road construction ahead,” it said, and I knew I had a problem. The road that was supposed to get me to school faster was blocked. But if I turned around to go the other direction, I would be even later to class than before.
My decision was a fast but poor one. There did not seem to be any road construction going on, so I very carefully pulled my car around the detour to drive toward my school. The road seemed safe enough to me until, POP!…. Ssssssssssssssssst! In my impatience, I had run over a large nail, giving me a flat tire. I was stuck waiting for help to arrive.
When I think of this experience, I am reminded of some big life lessons. The detour sign I went around served an important purpose. It was a guideline, letting me know where the hazards on the road might be. God gives us important guidelines in His word and though His Holy Spirit, which may help us understand what is harmful and what is helpful. Rather than ignoring God’s instruction, it is important to take it to heart, because very often God sees what is on the road ahead of us before we do.
I also learned about grace! My mistake caused a flat tire. But after saying a quick prayer, God sent a kind gentleman who helped me put on the spare. And even though I missed my science class, my teacher was gracious enough to let me take the exam at a later time. It is important for me to remember and follow God’s guidelines. But when I do make mistakes, God’s grace is right there too. He provides care and support through friends, teachers and family. Most importantly, He gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
I’m so thankful for God’s guidance and His grace. I pray I can pay attention to Him as he leads and lean on Him as I grow to trust Him more on life’s roads, detour signs and all!
By Alexis Rivera, Texas Conference Children’s Ministries Director