AS YOU SEEK to follow God’s direction for your life, trust that you are never beyond God’s ability to guide. In fact, to God, there’s no such thing as a detour. Think about it: A detour simply means we aren’t pursuing the route we originally had in mind. Believing a detour offers a new opportunity from God can encourage us to welcome these possibilities.
Recall missionary Frank Laubach’s daily prayer, “God, what are you doing in the world today that I can help with?” This prayer came as a result of a detour. In 1915, a Christian missionary organization sent Laubach to the Philippines, where he taught at Union Theological Seminary in Manila. He was almost elected president of the seminary, missing it by one vote – the vote he cast for the other candidate!
Not long afterward, he had the opportunity to work with the Maranao tribe in the southern Philippines. Realizing that these Muslim people could not read or write, he discovered a passion that would become his all-consuming mission: literacy. The people didn’t receive Laubach at first, but because of his willingness to live among them, learn their language, and listen to them, they finally received his teaching.
Church donations to mission work dried up during the Great Depression, and Laubach had no resources to keep teaching the tribe. The chieftain who learned to read and write under Laubach said, “If I can learn, anyone can learn. Let each one who learned to read teach someone else.” This led to the “each one teach one” literacy method that was eventually adopted in over a hundred countries.
Laubach’s work has been lauded around the world. He became known as the “Apostle to the Illiterates.” Like Paul, this apostle’s great work may have never been realized had it not been for a rerouting.
Sometimes we may not get where we meant to go, but where we end up turns out better than where we were headed.
– Rob Fuquay
Which Way, Lord?
From pages 77-78 of Which Way, Lord? Exploring Your Life’s Purpose in the Journeys of Paul by Rob Fuquay. Copyright © 2017 by Rob Fuquay. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
As you pray today, ask: “God, what are you doing in the world today that I can help with?” Share your thoughts.
Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.
Psalm 14:1 NRSV
This Week: pray for the mind of Christ. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Mary Magdalene (July 22).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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