Monday, January 11, 2010

A Wrong Turn

Ever been late for a wedding because of one lousy wrong turn? We have. Late to a wedding and several other events. I’ll blame it on our moving every 2-3 years. Now we have a GPS with a sultry voice (or an English accent…that one is my favorite).

With all due respect to Frost and the integrity of his poem, sometimes taking the road less traveled doesn’t make all the difference, it just makes you late.

Or does it?

How do you perceive wrong turns?

Today I’m going to give you a list of all the potential things you can learn from taking a wrong turn. (I’ll be tackling more than literal wrong turns. If you have a keen eye and a sharp wit you might catch onto that without my having to take up three lines to write it.)

Lessons thanks to wrong turns:

  1. You’re humbled to freely admit you’re not perfect.
  2. You stumble into unfamiliar territory and are forced to concentrate, with greater intensity on your surroundings.
  3. If you’re wise, you learn to ask for help.
  4. You practice the art of correcting yourself and sometimes that means backtracking a little.
  5. With great effort you clamp your mouth shut, refraining from swearing like a sailor in front of your spouse or children. Hence, discipline.
  6. You understand that time doesn’t always operate on your schedule and that life goes on without you.
  7. Dirt roads are never a good sign. Anyone guess this song…dananarnarnarnar? Okay, maybe not. Dueling banjos give you a clue?
  8. You become skilled at deciphering the best turn-around spots, gauging where/how you’re least likely to get in an accident.
  9. Conflict resolution if anyone is in the car with you.
  10. Finally, you discover that sometimes, in life you’re not always where you think you are. Some directions lead us astray. There’s always one guide that will point us right—and I’m not referring to the English speaking GPS system.

Have you learned anything significant from a wrong turn?

*photos by flickr


  1. Good morning! I have. I've learned to listen closer to what God wants me to do and chalk it up to experience:)

  2. Great post!

    Taking the wrong turn teaches me more about myself and about the Lord. You're absolutely right that making mistakes can be to our benefit--if we let it. Thanks for the reminder. :D

  3. Boy, conflict resolution wouldn't happen till we were way out of the car latter, lol. I love this post Wendy. I often consider any unexpected delay as a part of God's wise plan. It is isn't it? Wouldn't it be funny if we got to heaven and He said, "Boy you sure got lost a lot." He probably will say that to me and it will have nothing to do with traveling ;)

  4. 5 and 6 cracked me up , thanks for the giggle :D :D

    Oh, to be able to see the end from the beginning. How much easier life would be. But, it would require no faith and that is not part of His plan. So, we work our way through and someday will look back and see the meaning and purpose of it all. Good thoughts today - which is usually the case.

  5. On gps I have a street well a couple of mine in my direct area that are incorrect on GPS so there are constantly people getting lost on the street that I overlook... TONS of people and it takes tons of time for people to figure it out.

    Just a word of warning.

    Tom Bailey

  6. New unexpected friends can come from wrong turns too. They see the worst of you first. Really great!!! LOL

  7. I've learned to plan, plan, plan ahead. Mapquest it even before gps'ing it. Even then, sometimes that wrong turn inevitably finds us, having us reinterpret all we'd planned.

  8. I've found before that taking a wrong turn helped me end up in a much better place.

  9. Yeah, that Chinese comment is odd... I do kind of wonder what it says. :0)

    I'm especially gifted at getting lost. And I most definitely almost completely missed my roommate's wedding a few years ago. My parents missed my cousin's last summer because they got lost. Guess it runs in the family!

  10. I've learned the best memories can come from a wrong turn and a 3 hr. backtracking day. :)

  11. Learning to ask for help that's a big one. I'm late a lot and unfortunately it's not due to taking a wrong turn, but because of time management.

  12. Great post. I have another one for you. Once you've been lost in a place once, it's easier to get through it again the next time... Oh yes. There's always a next time. Mwahaha! (We move every two to three years too...)

  13. Wrong turns teach me a lot about myself. They deepen my dependence on God too. Since I have the worst sense of direction, I get lost a lot. Spiritually I get lost more than I care to admit. Thank God for His spiritual roadmap.

  14. Boy, have I learned! I've especially learned to trust God's timing. Long ago, before my writing hiatus, I was so determined to stay on the writing path, even though I'd taken a turn in the direction I wanted to go (and it wasn't necessarily God's directon). He derailed me. Thankfully. And he kept me off the path for quite a few years. Then he nudged me back on, and this time I'm trying to let him guide me without taking over the control.

  15. Good word as I wait for my car to be jumped! :)

  16. This post is great, Wendy. Too many times I feel I've made wrong turns and false starts. But now, I see I'm finally on the right road. Had I not taken those wrong turns, I wouldn't know what I know now, I wouldn't be convinced of where I do belong, and I wouldn't be as in tune to the Holy Spirit as I am now (thanks to NOT listening the first time(s)).

    It's always a pain, these detours, but oh the lessons we learn.

    Happy Monday,

  17. Good post, Wendy! You're right about wrong turns, they can definitely teach you lessons. I think the biggest thing wrong turns teach you is to rely on someone bigger than you. And patience. Yeah, hopefully wrong turns teach you patience--to make the best out of an unfortunate situation.

  18. 6 & 10 probably best describe me!

    Wrong paths often lead me to better places than I planned on going! Life is quite the adventure!

  19. It isn't always as bad as it looks right now. The best perspective comes later.

  20. love this b/c I get so frustrated sometimes when I get my mind set on something...yet wrong turns have often been right ones. Sarah

  21. Wrong turns..surprises. Once we decided to go the county route instead of the interstate, and found a really neat craft shop and the best fresh seafood. So that was a good one. BUT it took us 3 hours longer....

  22. I loved your number one. That's a lesson I get to learn over and over. And over and over again.

  23. Great post! As an impulsive person, my life is littered with wrong turns, but they've produced teachable moments, especially when I will admit to God and fellow man that I MADE a wrong turn.


  24. I love this post, Wendy! I'm a pretty good navigator, actually. But I love wrong turns when I travel, because I love the "off the beaten path" feeling when you exit the highway.

    Have a great week!

  25. I like the idea of it forcing us to pay better attention to our surroundings. This is a great list, Wendy!

  26. Terri, Wrong turn = experience. Nice and simple. I like.

    Danyelle, One thing I've learned is I can't walk or run too far from His reach.

    T.Anne, It's prob. more realistic that conflict resolution happens when we are out of the car. We've had some LONG car trips lately so we've had to work things out. I wonder what God might say to me.

    Tess, "Oh, to be able to see the end from the beginning." Hmmm. Too many thoughts sprung from that sentence alone.

    Hello, Tom. You make my point for #10 quite nicely. Thank you and thanks for dropping in.

    Eileen, That reminds me of The Wizard of Oz again.

    Joanne, I'm a mapquest fan. I'm excellent at getting somewhere I've already been...but it's getting there the first time (pretty true of all of life for me).

    Susan, Where? Where?

    Kristen, Ah a lost gene! A lost gene. Sad, I'm cracking myself up. I have a LOST gene.

    Bethany, So much of life is what you make out of it. I work so hard to teach my children this as I fight to learn it myself.

    Patti, I think asking for help is a good thing sometimes.

    Nisa, So true for me. So true!

    Tamika, When I'm feeling that way, I love how he will give me a scripture smack down...impressing some of the essentials back into my head/heart/spirit.

    Jody, You make such a valid point. Some of us invent roads to go down and end up hurting ourselves in the process. Been there. Done that.

    G&P, It's good to see you. I've been wondering where you've been. And now I know. Hope all turned out okay and you got home safe and sound.

    Jen, I've been point blank told to go down one road when I knew God was leading me down another. It's cool to follow his what happens when we trust.

    Cindy, Clearly I didn't mention patience b/c the word doesn't exist in my vocabulary. :D

    Donna, So funny...I spent a chunk of the day working on an article about that word--adventure.

    Cassandra, Ah, perspective...ain't that a thing of glory?

    Sarah, Wrong turns have been right ones. Thinking. Thinking. I'll buy it. Sure.

    Karen, Craft shop, seafood--what in the world was wrong about that? ;)

    Ali, I think it's either really comical or really sad for God watching me learn that lesson.

    Patti, Ah, to admit it. That's when you can finally turn around, right? Confession.

    Gwen, I've gotten lost on purpose before for the same reason.

    Katie, Thanks. Ever notice that though? When you are lost you take note of every mailbox, sign, traffic light, tree even if necessary.

    All is well with my soul, people. I'm praying about attending a writing conference. I'll need to get creative with funds, but I believe it will be worth it. Feel free to pray for me. I hope to experience it.

    Otherwise this is sometimes a funk-y time of year. Faith pushes me through. As with everything, faith pushes me through. Have a bundle of family b-days to celebrate this month. Woo hoo.

    I'm still lovin' this communication.

    Sleep confident of His forgiveness
    & Love

    ~ Wendy

  27. Great list! Sometimes I am frustrated by wrong turns, other times I see them as opportunities. Working to have a more balanced perspective:)

    Oh, and I prefer the British accent on my husband's GPS as she says..."Enter the motorway.."

  28. I like Donna's answer (and it was what I was going to say before reading hers!).

    Sometimes I've found that the wrong turn was the direction I should have been going, anyway.


  29. Your music list threw me. Buddy Holly is now #45. Always move it to that when I'm here.

  30. Great post for me! I'm always getting lost.

  31. Wonderful post, Wendy. Thanks for your wisdom.

    I wish I never took wrong turns, especially when it means I have to look in the mirror and know that I hurt someone else. It comforts me to know that God erases those from His record books.

  32. LOL! Even if I'm late, a wrong turn simply means the Lord had scheduled an adventure I didn't have on my calendar. ;D

    I'm probably the only person I know who sometimes takes wrong turns just to explore new vistas.

  33. So true! Yes, I've found amazing things by making a wrong turn. You never know what might be right around the wrong corner!

  34. I used to have this fetish with purposely making wrong turns just to see where I'd end up. It was a good strategy and tool for helping me trust that God would lead me back to familiar territory, and He always did. It's also good for remaining calm when in awry and confusing situations.

  35. Just wanted to stop by and say hi! Hope you're having a wonderful week!
    Take care,


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