It was 4.45 am in the morning, I was getting ready to catch Aaron (my bike name) and meeting my early running appointment. The sky was like the night sky, it was very dark, and nobody had awakened yet. I was thinking to take the journey slow since I am still afraid of the darkness because of several accidents I experienced and witnessed. It was very windy anyway, so I can’t speed. Before I departed, I set Sean (my phone name) to the map mode, so he can guide me towards the destination by passing the correct and the fastest route. Well, actually this had been my third times riding Aaron going to South Jakarta in the early morning. Just took a precaution in case I forgot how to get to the destination, I didn’t have to be afraid of getting lost or late to reach the destination by the arranged time.
I put my earphone on my right ear-side because music can lessened my fear of darkness. I barely could see around, so I turned on my front light for a better sight towards the road. I was so secure when I rode on the main road (Sudirman-Senayan), because I am very familiar of every indentation, of the environment, of the corners diverting one road to another pathway.
And then I made a turn. And I knew that that particular road is the one I am not familiar with because I barely travel pass it. I thought I’ll just follow to where Sean directed me to. I kept riding, and riding, and riding, and somehow I turned to a smaller and quieter road where the road was darker, and no one around, not even single vehicles, but I chose to keep going. Until my guts stopped me, and under one of the road lamp I chose to take a look at the map.
There was a time when I continued riding, I did not now where to turn and Sean did not giving me the direction, he kept silent (or was I not listening to him?). I was in doubt at some point, but I refused to stop and take a look at Sean.
I made the wrong turn. So I turned around to get me back on the right track.
The trip went from 10k to 13k in total as I reached to the destination. After realizing that I was lost my way, I sped up because I was afraid I will be late, leaving me tiring legs for my planned 21k run. I was not late, but still, I made 3k extra effort to ride. I should be arriving in the destination earlier if I was not lost. I should be finishing my 21k running distance, but instead I stopped at my 17th because I was exhausted and thinking to save my energy for the ride back. The route was quite challenging with hills contour. I just did not want to waste my energies since my purpose is not to do brick training, but to run.
After I realized that I was lost, I reflected on myself. It was a detour. It was the unnecessary journey.
The same thing in life. Many times in our lives we make wrong decisions and end up to go through the unnecessary life journey. And we suffer for it. We often questioned God the Whys behind the bad things happened in our lives. We often blame ourselves and live in regrets as we are blinded by the negative things that affects life. “It was not supposed to be this way”. But one thing I knew for sure that everything happened, happens for a reason. A good one.
When I made wrong decisions in the past, almost all times I lived in regrets and tend to blame myself of why I did what I did. I used to isolate myself and let negativity feed me, drowned in sorrow and grieving for myself for months or even years. It affected how I interact with people, I got overly too sensitive over someone’s words. And I grew up as an insecure individual because I got too scared to open myself up. That fear got me just right of being an overthinking person. My world is my thoughts, and I lived that. But mind could be wrong. Being a stubborn individual, I thought that the world is a cruel place for me to live.
But that was my past when I was thinking that I am a victim of the mistakes I created.
The world is unkind, but we can’t force the world to adapt on who we are. But the very first thing that matters in life is not about how we fight the world, but how we are living in it as survivors, and come out as a winner to ourselves.
Living in an almost-depressed situation, God saw me broken. He pick me up and saved me before I made the kind of mistake that there will be no turning back. God is never giving up on me. There were lots of times when I was down and questioning my capabilities, God always cheered me up by simple little things afterwards, telling me that I am matter for Him, I am loved by Him. And just like how rainbow were portrayed over the blue sky after the storm, that is how God draws smiles and laughter after the tears. And then days or weeks or months or years later when I look back, I understand why that was happening the way it did.
If it’s good, it’s God’s blessing. If it’s bad, it’s still God’s blessing, a blessing in disguise. We may not see that today, but we will see the purpose of why it’s happening in the future.
- Like why I was growing up in a broken home family – because then I saw lots of people who grew up broken, but I grew up healthy and I should be grateful of how God take care of me all these times. God always put me in positive communities where I can grew up to be a good person, and it’s all about choices. I chose good. And then I met a lot of people who needs support and encouragement of being strong when encountering family problems. I can empathize on them, because I’ve been there even though I am still struggling myself.
- Like why I failed in few serious relationships – because then I got enough time to learn about true relationship before I got into marriage. Funny when God always given me the chance to be close with happily marriage couples – so I can learn how they live their marriages. And how God also given me the opportunities to know people whom marriage is broken – I can learn the “dos” and the “don’ts” in marriage, and what should be prepared before we are getting married. Failure is inevitable, pain is temporary, but lessons learned is valuable and nothing in this world can buy successful marriage.
- Like why I should wander in few places leaving all my comfortable areas, losing lots of relationships, keep starting over – because then I got the chance to see the world bigger and dream big. And I just learned that my healing moments were not something that I’ve got from other people, but they were the things that I’ve got from exploring few places and living there for some period of time. I’ve got it from within me when I see the world. I’ve got it from the dream I wish to achieve and finding out where to start.
There were so many mistakes or bitter experiences in each of the three mentioned above events – but I learned that God has beautiful plans for me: so I can be who I am today, a blessing to other people. I made wrong decisions because I was so stubborn that I was so right, leaving me to get into the painful process. But that process is making me who I am today as a grown up survivor. I did not involve God in many decisions. But again, God never giving up one me. He is faithful. I might spend unnecessary efforts, taking longer distance or time to get to the destination, but then it’s all about process. I am a working in progress.
My brother always told me that the painful journey I was and am experiencing are meant to shape us and to reveal “the best of me” inside , don’t treat them as the enemy but as a way of knowing, understanding, and accepting ourselves, so when we see us we see God is working within us. The result is just a reward from God, but the process is what God mostly care about so He can see us as someone where He has seen us in the future. We tend to see result. But God sees process, He wants to process us through the journey He let us gone through.
At the end of the road I always see God. No matter how broken I was, I am, I always see Him right in front of me, speaking right through me, guiding me from one step into another step even though I made wrong turns, He never leave me. There were some times when I thought that He was silent. But that was not because He did not see my struggles or hear my calls, but because He wants me to grow bigger, exploring myself. It’s like when a father teaches us to ride a bike, when we fall, it’s not necessarily he helps us to stand, but he will be there to give us strength, encouragement, as well as seeing us stand and ride again. And when we rise again, God will smile at us and say: “good job, My child. Take my hand, and I will guide you”. I am not scared because God will never leave me, nor forsake me, and He Himself will always be with me – Deutronomy 31 : 6 & 8.
A detour doesn’t seem that terrible because I knew God is watching me, and I believe that He will guide me back to the right pathway, where the final destination is where God first wants me to get – in His time.
Jeremiah 29 : 11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”