How often in our lives do we run into detours either minor or major? Our first thoughts always revolve around traffic accidents or road construction. Do we call many things that affect us for many years to come as detours? When I was 33, I ran into my biggest detour at that point, and within three years hit two more detours. I got married and then we had two sons. So now, at 65, I am still reaping awesome benefits from 32 years ago. My only downturn was the loss of my wife six years ago.

If I had not detoured 32 years ago, I would probably still be working in a hospital pharmacy, but to take care of my family, my plans changed.

Why do detours intercept our lives? As a Christian, our worship song Sunday showed me the leadership in my detours. From our song, “He leadeth me, He leadeth me; By His own hand He leadeth me; His faithful follower I would be; For by his hand He leadeth me.”

My last significant detour occurred almost two years ago. Several doctor visits told me I had swollen vocal cords. Then I finally went to a laryngologist at UAB where we found a vocal cord mass. Upon surgery, we found a second mass and both were cancer. Then I started seven weeks of radiation treatments and total speech loss for about four months. But with the prayers and care of my family and church members a really neat raspy bass voice returned. We can tolerate the loss of even long-term friends, but the most disconcerting may be when family members move on in their lives. But, alas, this begins the detours in their lives. And so it should be. We will rejoice in their successes also. A quote by the famous P.T. Barnum says, “ The noblest art is that of making others happy.” So start each day with a smile on your face knowing you or others may benefit from that day. Trials and tribulations do make us stronger.

John Roberts, Gadsden

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