SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 1:4 (NIV)
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
STORY as told by Brian L. Harbour:
The year was 1920. The scene was the examining board for selecting missionaries. Standing before the board was a young man named Oswald Smith. One dream dominated his heart. He wanted to be a missionary. Over and over again, he prayed, "Lord, I want to go as a missionary for you. Open a door of service for me." Now, at last, his prayer would be answered. When the examination was over, the board turned Oswald Smith down. He did not meet their qualifications. He failed the test. Oswald Smith had set his direction, but now life gave him a detour. What would he do? As Oswald Smith prayed, God planted another idea in his heart. If he could not go as a missionary, he would build a church which could send out missionaries. And that is what he did. Oswald Smith pastored The People's Church in Toronto, Canada, which sent out more missionaries than any other church at that time. Oswald Smith brought God into the situation, and God transformed his detour into a main thoroughfare of service.
While on the journey through life Whitney Houston took a detour. Her struggles have been well documented in the media. It is unfortunate that her life ended the way it did. It is a tragic ending to one of the most beautiful voices to grace the airwaves. Pure, angelic, graceful, soulful are but a few words that come to mind to describe the quality of that powerful voice. But she took a detour.
God has a plan for our lives as he did for her. We choose to take detours away from his plan. Our detour might not make it into the news nor cause the world to pause in tears, but our detour is as tragic as Ms. Houston’s. It is a tragic anytime that one of God’s children, one of his chosen ones decides to go off on their own because the Kingdom of God suffers. The Family of God is less than what it could be when we choose a detour instead of his plan.
We think we know better. We think we have a better way. We think that we are wiser and more informed. But, alas, it is only a detour that always ends up being a dead end … a road to nowhere.
God created us with purpose. God created us for beauty. God created us with meaning. God created us with a destiny far beyond our imagination and well beyond our ability to reach it on our own. We just have to put up a sign and adhere to it – NO DETOURS IN THIS LIFE!
Gracious God, we have staked our life with a NO DETOUR signs, but the temptations are tremendous and powerful. We need your strength to hold to the course that you have set before us. Help us on our journey to stay the course.