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“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”—Isaiah 61:3.

I had a great weekend with one of my best girlfriends. It had been a while since we were together, so we were looking forward to our girl time. The plan was to go to Asheville to the see the leaves change. All week, my girlfriend was asking me some specifics about the trip, and each time I never had an answer. I figured we could just be spontaneous. I enjoy a little spontaneity and plus it seems that lately whenever I make plans something always goes wrong. So perhaps there was a little bit of self-preservation going on too. Anyway, we embarked on this journey to Asheville and all of a sudden I see a sign for a Gorge.( I became enamored with gorges after a business trip many years ago where I saw my first gorge. It was so beautiful. If you haven’t seen one definitely add this to your list of things to do.) I yell out, “a gorge!” My girlfriend looks at me and says, “wanna go?”…so off we went, taking a detour from our scheduled trip to Asheville to look at the beautiful fall colors of the leaves and for some shopping and lunch. Little did we know we were about to embark a great adventure, filled with all kinds of high jinks, amazing views, lots of walking, and experiencing the awesome wonder of God through nature. We had a great time! This was a planned detour, but a detour nonetheless. We really didn’t know how it would turn out and as we started going further up the mountain and the roads became winding and narrow, we started to think “umm, was this a good idea?” Still, we pressed on to our new destination, sometimes laughing and sometimes in nervous silence. We tried to diffuse our anxiety on the mountainous roads with old school music and singing, but it was clear we were both a little afraid. However, getting to the mountain, traveling through the beautiful forest, and seeing water falls made it all worth it.

This trip reminded me of my life. It has been filled with some planned and unplanned detours.

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