The Shortcut Less Travelled

“If you don’t change the direction you are going,
then you are likely to end up where you are headed.”

~ ~John Maxwell~

Every once in awhile,  Dan and I enjoy taking a drive off the beaten path, turning onto roads we’ve never travelled before to see where we end up. What a great way to get to know the communities where we live, a chance to see unusual and beautiful sights and  time to chat, uninterrupted by phones or the television.

A few years ago, we headed toward home in Maryland after visiting family in PA. There was no rush to get home and the day was gorgeous for driving so we decided to turn off the Interstate onto a less travelled road that went through a state park. We knew generally where we were and where the road should come out so we opted to take the scenic route. We still had about 30 miles to reach home, but we thought the road might offer us a shortcut. No problem.

At first it was a nice two lane, well-maintained road with houses on either side – a typical country road. Then we entered the state forest land.  The road was still paved, and there were no signs indicating  a dead end, so we kept going. But the farther we travelled, the narrower the road became, turning into  gravel, then a packed dirt road.

Since Dan grew up in the country, he wasn’t fazed by the changes and decided to keep going. After all, we knew that a road bearing the same name came out near our home road.

But soon the dirt road narrowed into a single lane, grassy wooded path. There were even muddy puddles from a recent rain which I was sure could swallow us up and no one would ever find us since there was absolutely no traffic. No signs warned us to turn back.  I got a little worried and wanted to turn around, but there wasn’t even any place to turn around.

Still unfazed, Dan kept going, slowly but surely down the path, navigating  around the water puddles and careful to avoid branches which had fallen on the path. I’m not sure whether the Royal Ranger, explorer side of him kicked in or whether he was just too stubborn to backtrack and make our trip home even longer after wasting so much time on our current path.

Just when I had almost persuaded him to try to turn around, patches of gravel appeared on the path, sparse at first, then more often until we were back on a gravel road. Soon we were back on a real road again, complete with the white no passing stripes down the middle. Whew!

We ended up near where Dan thought the road would come out and with a few minor course adjustments, we soon turned onto our tried and true shortcut road home. It was an INTERESTING afternoon jaunt.

I’ve been on the journey with the Lord long enough to know if He directs me down a certain path, I’d better take it! It might lead me through some interesting, narrow, muddy, tree-strewn places – some places where I’m tempted to bite my nails and feel like turning back, but as long as He’s guiding me, I will come out exactly where He wants me to be.  Thanks Lord!

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