We live in a society obsessed with being right, getting to the destination fastest, and sticking the landing on the first go. Error translates into shame and is a weakness that must never darken your doorstep. The problem with this ideology is it misses the invaluable lessons that come from detours along the way. It would be amazing if our discernment came with a foolproof GPS, but apparently, that design didn’t please the good Lord too much. Jon Bloom writes, “God places a higher priority on our being transformed than our being informed.” A direct path is easier and seemingly more efficient. However, what if the missed turn fifteen miles back would have better prepared you for future navigation? Hindsight is always 20/20 and a great teacher but can become crippling when it becomes a heavy suitcase instead of a stamp in our passport.
Detours aren’t a possibility on our journeys – they’re a guarantee. The quicker we learn to say I was wrong, I’m sorry, I don’t know or even refrain from saying anything at all, the quicker we will be able to transition through detours. A couple of years ago, I worked at a summer camp, and each week the counselors would take the campers on a hike. I would always hang out in the back, taking in the beautiful scenery and helping with the stragglers. Without fail, almost every hike had middle school and high school students ranting and raving about the length of the hike; they were tired, they felt nervous by the unfamiliar surroundings, or they were simply ready to be done. It was challenging hiking with these despondent troopers because as much as I encouraged and wanted them to enjoy the adventure, I couldn’t adjust their experience.
The same principles apply to business. With so many choices to make in a day, making the most right decision can feel overwhelming. Stress and pressure tend to mount when you find yourself in a leadership position, and all eyes are on you. However, the good news is: you don’t have to win all the moments, just the big ones. Don’t get lost in the pursuit of getting it right at all costs. You don’t have to die on every hill with the right decisions. It’s okay to A/B test, say that you are wrong, or that you don’t know the answer. This doesn’t disqualify you from being a leader – it’s actually what makes you a great one. God wants to teach us through experience, trust Him, and enjoy what He has to teach us in the in-betweens. If we merely traveled in a linear motion, we would never be challenged to become the dynamic people God has called us to be.
At the end of the day: what is most important is never losing sight of the vision. As long as you have your eye on the compass, you know you will find your way – no matter the twists and turns en route to the destination. Let Romans 8:28 encourage you, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Ultimately, if you’re on your way somewhere, you’re in the right place. And don’t freak out when you get to the fork in the road that’s been on the horizon for miles – God will lead you to where you need to be.