Last week my family, nephew and I were blessed with the opportunity to visit the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.
We thoroughly enjoy visiting the Smokies whenever we get the chance.
One day we visited Cades Cove. Our plan was to go horseback riding there, which the kids had done in previous years with their grandparents.
But when we got there, however, the stables were extremely backed up. Initially there was a 1-hour wait. We ate a picnic lunch at the car and checked back after 1 hour. Now it’s a 2-hour wait.
So we faced a dilemma. Do we wait here and potentially waste the entire day or do we check out the park and possibly swing back by later?
We decided to drive around the park rather than sit there. (There’s a lengthy paved road around the outside of Cades Cove which, if I recall correctly, is about 11-12 miles long. It’s pretty lengthy.)
As we drove along, we ran across some interesting hiking trails. (This was not our first trip to Cades Cove, mind you, but it had been quite a while and the memory details were somewhat fuzzy.)
After some debate, we decided to take the adventure before us and explore some of these trails.
And we had the best time as a result.
We saw some really cool scenery, an old barn, a cold mountain creek (see picture below), met other people along the way and got some much-needed exercise.
Late in the afternoon, after driving the remainder of the path back to the entrance, we stopped by (again!) to learn that the horse stable was still swamped and not taking any more groups for the day.
So we missed out on our original plan. But instead, we gained an adventure that was very much worth it.
This is so often how life works.
We have our plans and then WHAM! Life sweeps us off on an unexpected journey.
When this happens—when we get “redirected” from our plans—let’s choose to embrace it and ask GOD to turn it into a blessing for us.
If we pay attention, we’ll often see we were better off as a result.