Hurrying to one book-signing event, I bumped into an old friend, Conrad. He was on a short break from a writing workshop.
"I want to be an author like you," he said. "Let me be a copycat," he joked.
"Go for it!" I encouraged him. Conrad and I were both creative writers in competing ad agencies years ago. Friendly competitors we called ourselves outside of our individual offices.
"You look happy," he said as we hugged.
"Very!" I told him. "There's nothing I'd rather do!"
"You should have left advertising sooner then," he replied.
"Yeah, I should have," I replied. "But, then . . . there would not have been enough insight or issues to write about."
"Right," he agreed. "No wounds, cuts, or bruises."
We laughed, having both known the incessant trauma inflicted upon admen by deadly deadlines, unrealistic expectations of clients, fierce competitors, and the punishing pressure to keep coming up with something fresh.
That thought of pursuing writing sooner stayed with me.
I seriously took up creative writing very late in life—in fact, it came at the end of a career and motherhood that drained me of energy and chutzpah. My career had reached a plateau and motherhood had become irrelevant because my children had grown up.
It was like making a detour to the main road, where I am today.
I took that long, sometimes-bumpy-often-shaky, inconvenient way around that drove me off the short path. But the thing about a detour is, you see new vistas you never saw before, sceneries totally different from those on the highway.
After that short chat with Conrad, I realized that my detour prepared me for this writing ministry, where I am able to see grace more clearly than I ever did.
Was the delay, then, a divine detour?
I believe it was. Because now I have finally reached the place where I want to be for as long as I am allowed to travel on mother Earth.
You may have made detours, too, because new roads were being built or old ones were being fixed. And if you have, you know that detours can be long or longer, with vistas that are either ghastly or lovely.
But always, a divine detour leads us to eternal gratitude for and perpetual appreciation of the main road.