TITLE: Life's Detours
By Constance Bronson
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A decade ago I wrote in my monthly newspaper column about the changes that were happening in my life. It was about meeting life’s challenges inch-by-inch instead of yard-by-yard. Our income had been cut in half because of job changes and we sold our spacious home to move to a smaller one with a smaller mortgage.
Remembering that inchworm who takes life only one inch at a time, I could look at this as a few inches of detour to the place we wanted to be at this stage in our lives. The physical building where we live does not determine whether or not we can be happy there. It is our attitude, our commitment, and our love that makes a house a home.
It’s as though God had laid the path before us and said follow. Our home sold in six days and we closed on the smaller one in about three weeks. But what if the detour becomes permanent? We all go through life thinking that the uncomfortable things that happen to us are temporary, and the good things will somehow live forever. We strive to reach that elusive age or time or place where it will all come together just as we planned.
But that time never quite arrives and the desires of our heart are in some way left unfulfilled. The only thing that is certain is that the sun, moon, and stars will remain in their places and the earth will go on spinning. The love of the Creator of those certainties is the only absolutely stable and unchanging value in life.
When I’m hurting or troubled, my natural tendency is to retreat from people, like a wounded animal. I believe in self-reliance and individual responsibility in making the best of one’s live. Integrity and honor are as important in tough times as they are in good times.
But I also know that accepting the support of friends and family and allowing others to minister to our needs when we truly are in need enriches everyone involved, the giver and the receiver.
The success of our lives does not depend where we live, or what we do for a living. It is measured by who we are in our relationships with others, in our appreciation of the people who make our daily existence enjoyable. We can have peace and contentment in any safe environment. Having people around us who care, and to care for, is what adds the light, the warmth, and the joy.
The detour lasted for seven years in that small house. Then suddenly, out of the blue, our realtor called us because he had remembered a conversation with my husband about wanting to buy an adult foster care home if there should be one available. I didn’t like that idea much, so when we were told there was nothing on the market, I was certain that was the end of it. Wrong! The small detour made way for the giant detour!
So now ten years later, we have a group home for elderly people who cannot live alone in their homes anymore. We have a capacity for nine residents and this detour may be the road we were always destined to take. God has truly blessed us with this ministry, and made us a blessing for others. Stay tuned for chapter called retirement.
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