Small Detours


I took a small detour as I left campus today. I didn't give this detour much thought at first, but due to it, I passed a colleague friend of mine who was sitting on a bench. I had finished teaching for the day. He had an hour gap before his next class. We hadn't seen each other for a few months, which is often the case in our jobs. (On a large campus it's easy to run into your colleagues only infrequently.)

Instead of continuing on my way, I sat down. We talked about our classes. We spoke about managing family responsibilities and the work loads that we carry home. We spoke about matters of faith and living with integrity to our beliefs. We talked about how to support, instruct, and love our students well, especially when today's climate is prone to quickly argue, harshly judge, and ruthlessly cancel.

We sat on that bench for nearly an hour, and when we stood to leave, me for the parking deck and him for his classroom, we both felt mutually encouraged and strengthened.

I'm so glad I took a detour today. I'm so glad I sat down on that bench instead of merely waving and walking by. Without a doubt, this conversation was a highlight of my semester. I would have missed it without the detour.

How wonderful that God guides our steps and directs our paths. I want my heart to be sensitive to his quiet nudging. I want to follow all his detours that might lead to unexpected moments, chance conversations, and unanticipated opportunities of encouragement.

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