Road Trip – Peter

Adventure starts where plans end.-3

Several years ago, my cell phone rang while John and I were out on a Saturday night date. Maggie, driving home to MN from Colorado, was on the other end of the line.

“Mom, I think I took a detour and I’m in the wrong state. Can you talk me in?” 

Note, that was “wrong STATE”, not “wrong road” or “wrong town”. She had gotten WAY off track before asking for help and being willing to turn around.

This was before the days of the nice British woman with the soothing voice on your GPS saying “Recalculating…Make a U-turn at the next available intersection. Return to route.”

We all take wrong turns and get off-course. Sometimes those wrong turns have huge consequences that leave us wandering in the wilderness for a season. Other times, we do a course correction and get back on track quickly, thankful for grace and the company of other lost-and-found companions along the way.

Peter took a detour that he thought was fatal, but he was wrong.

Failure is never fatal in the economy of God.

When Jesus was in his darkest moments, when He most needed a friend, Peter bailed on Him. This disciple who was a close friend, acted like an enemy. He took a detour from faithfulness, and went the road of self-preservation.

In saving himself, he lost himself, as is always the case.

In shame, he ran and “hid” in his old self – fishing for fish. But…

There is no detour you can take where God can’t find and restore you.

Jesus meets Peter where he is (John 21) and He asks a simple question, “Do you love me?”

Jesus reaches out and says, “Recalculate your route. Come back with me. It’s ok. I’ll show you the way.”

My brother, David, who I’ve written about here, crossed the finish line of faith on Saturday and is now face to face with Jesus. He was a remarkable, godly man. He was also broken and he messed up like all of us (after all, he did pull off the tail to my stuffed mouse when we were kids!) But what he wanted more than anything was for everyone to know that through Jesus, God is the God of bazillionty chances. He desires to be the leader and forgiver of our life if we just turn to him.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Where has a detour taken you today or in the past?

  • To numbing substance abuse?
  • To unhealthy relationships?
  • To spending too much money or eating too much food, or doing too much work?
  • Running from God instead of toward Him?IMG_8367

There’s always a way back. If you’ve taken a detour, what’s the first step you need to take to get back on track?

  • Telling the truth?
  • Asking forgiveness?
  • Seeking help from someone else who’s been where you are?
  • Putting in some “guardrails” to help you stay on course?

Read Luke 15. List all the things you note about God’s character regarding those who get lost.

What has your experience been with detours and getting back on track?


  1. Laura,
    Bless you. Thank you for sharing this journey with us all. And thank you for your demonstration of how God works through us in the toughest times, when we are weakest, to do magnificent things. Your words continue to bring beautiful illumination to our very earthly existence and the all pervasive love of God transforming us. Praying that you and your family find great comfort and shelter in the palm of his hand at this time. Xx Donna

    • Thank you so much Donna. I love it that I can “hear” you saying these words with your lovely accent in my head. Sending love…

  2. As always Laura, you have said things that are hard and challenging but so true….
    and they are said with such grace…..I went back to read your posting about David, and was blessed.. I am so sorry for this difficult loss for you. He sounded like a wonderful man, and a blessing to know. His concern for his boys, and your thoughts that they have seen a stronger side of their dad in his on going faith and character that reflected Gods strength in his weakness – brought me to tears. I am sure you are comforted in knowing that Christ in him, the Hope of Glory shone brightly till the end. Prayers for you and the family as you learn to accept his death and live life without him on this earth. Hugs….

  3. Dear Laura
    I though of you this morning as I said my prayers. I felt you so close as a friend, realizing that your dear brother had gone home to be with the Lord. May His peace and comfort and the hope of the resurrection keep your family strong at this time.

  4. What I love here Laura, is your emphasis on returning to God. Especially in times of not understanding His plan (or wanting to change it.)
    And Dave’s witness continues for finding the lost sheep, lost coin, lost child.

  5. Laura,
    I don’t know if you remember me, but you were my senior high youth group leader at First Pres. I was Crissy Smith back then. The only thing on our minds that year was getting you and John together:). Guess we were right! Anyway, I got to your blog thru posts about Dave. I am so so sad about his passing and the deep void he leaves in our community. He lived only a block away, and even though he didn’t know me, I always knew he was your brother and saw him around town – always larger than life and ALWAYS with a smile on his face. He was way too young to be taken from our world, but I guess God couldn’t wait any longer to have him in His! The celebration must be huge! Thank you for your beautiful words. Thankfully we serve a God who loves us all the way to the Finish Line!

  6. Paula Peckham

    July 20, 2015 at 8:44 PM

    Laura, thank you for these true and thoughtful words. In the midst of grief, you have taken time to encourage us and point us back to the lover of our souls and His never-ending supply of mercy, grace and forgiveness. Since we’ll never “get it just right” on this side of Eternity, how comforting to know that His children are always His!

  7. Laura
    Your blog has been an uplifting and gentle guide through the process of Dave’s path. You have led those of us as we struggled to articulate our hopes, grief and sadness. Dave will be missed by so many of the lives he touched as a friend and in his kind and compassionate ministry.

  8. “We all take wrong turns and get off-course…,” and “Failure is never fatal in the economy of God.” Laura, thanks again for sharing, and being our “Nathan”, as you spoke about recently on Sunday. The gentle truth. May God continue to bless you in your ministry.

  9. We send heartfelt sympathies to you on the loss of your beloved brother- Thank you for expressing your grief coupled with hope.

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