“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea.”Exodus 13:17–18
The path that is nearest is not always the path that is best.
Sometimes when our lives take unexpected and complicated turns, we long for the shorter, simpler route. We imagine that our current situation would be so much better if only we had been able to take that other path.
Without faith, it makes sense to ruminate over paths and directions. Perhaps the other way would have been better. Surely it would have been less difficult. Maybe there would have been more opportunities and fewer obstacles. It was obviously shorter and faster.
With faith, though, we can rest in the assurance that God leads us where we need to go. His criteria differs from ours: he seems to be less interested in direct routes and more interested in minds and hearts. His guidance does not mean that life will be easy, but it does mean that our current path is not a mistake and it is certainly not arbitrary.
Today I will accept my path, including all prior and upcoming detours.