I love when real life experiences can teach us valuable lessons. It’s one of the best ways I learn. I had such an example earlier this week.
My kids and I were on a long drive to a destination for spring break. The drive was going great and we were making good time. Despite a slight detour that only added maybe 10-15 minutes to our drive it looked like we were going to arrive even earlier than I’d expected. Then things went sideways real fast—or maybe I should say real slow.
Traffic on the freeway came to a sudden stop. For the next 2 ½ hours we barely crawled along the freeway (only went about 6 miles in this time) because of a crash that had shut down a part of the road. Eventually, we got to a point where the freeway was still closed and we were detoured back the way we had come! We had to get off and head in the opposite direction on a tiny two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere. Because so many other people were doing the same thing the highway was clogged and also went very slowly. It took us another two hours to finally get back onto the freeway, only about 5 miles south of where we had gotten off.
Much of this journey was very stressful and frustrating. We needed to go to the bathroom. We were hungry. We were tired and needed to sleep. We should have gotten to our destination around 6:00 PM, but ended up not getting there until around 11:00 PM. It wasn’t all bad, though. Some of the journey was fun, too. We rocked out to music. We told jokes. We laughed. We had interesting conversations. At one point I did almost break down and cry from the stress and anxiety of it all, but decided I wanted to be a good example to my kids that even when things go wrong you keep going. And we did keep going. We did make it to our destination.
I thought about how this parallels my own life recently. I was on this path in life that was going great. I knew where I was headed and knew how to get there. Then things went sideways real fast. I had to take a detour that has taken me on a new path that looks very, very different than the one I was on. Sometimes it has been stressful and frustrating. It has definitely been a difficult journey. But there have also been good things. I have learned and grown so much because of this new path I’m on. I’ve still had joy and happiness. I’ve laughed. I’ve loved. And I know I will make it to my destination. It may be in a different way. It may take longer than I thought it would. But I know I will make it, just like we made it to our destination for spring break. Since then, we’ve done so many fun things and have made some great memories! I have hope and faith that my new destination in life will also, eventually, be full of fun and produce amazing memories.
What have your real-life experiences teach you? I’m so incredibly grateful for mine.