Are you stuck? Detours and roadblocks on our journey with God.
What I remember most is the frustration. I know that I also felt immense anger and sadness at times, but my memory of those emotions has faded. What I remember most clearly from that time of trauma, are the vast swaths of time when I felt stuck. When I felt blocked and lost.
I know I’m not alone.
Getting stuck doesn’t even require traumatic events. It can happen on a random Tuesday. Suddenly WHAM! I hit a roadblock in my spiritual life. Or I can have the slow recognition over many months that somehow I’ve taken a detour and have no idea how to get back on the right road.
However it happens, I don’t like it. I want my journey with God to be always “on track” and “making progress.” I want that good feeling of “accomplishing something” and “moving forward” in my spiritual life.
But what would happen if I reframed this narrative?
What if this roadblock is an invitation to stop for a time? To reflect and savor? What if it’s less an obstacle and more a sign saying, “point of interest”?
What if this detour is not a wrong turn, but the scenic route? A slow drive with the windows down and the rich smell of autumn? A moment to notice the leafy tongues of fire dancing on every branch of every tree?
Could I notice God with me? Could I feel invited to see that I’m not stuck, but held in Jesus’ loving embrace? Could I accept that I’m already on the right path towards a cool stream? That I’m not lost but led by a good shepherd.
Perhaps... How do you feel about it?
Our most recent podcast explores how a spiritual director can help you notice God’s presence and receive his invitations whenever you encounter a detour or roadblock in your spiritual life. You also might like this podcast with RoseMarie Jackson on Universal Betrayal: Grief, anxiety, depression, and the love of God.
Invitation to practice
“Point of interest” practice.
Rather then rushing past a roadblock or through a a detour, take a moment to pause and notice “where” you are. I invite you to journal your answers to these questions:
- How did I get here? Briefly tell the story of how you got to this point in life. Try not to judge, simply observe and feel about it.
- What are the predominate feelings I have about being on this detour or at this roadblock? Where and how do I feel these feelings in my body? Again, try to withhold judgement, instead, observe and make space for you feelings.
- Where is God for and with me in this place? Read Psalm 23 and, if you are able, surrender to it as a description of reality.