February 27, 2021

Required Flexibility by Lorilee Guenter


Our first major trip as a couple involved flying to Florida for a work gathering. We looked forward to meeting co-workers and exploring a new location. Plans started changing as soon as we arrived at the airport. Our flight was delayed long enough we would miss our connecting flight. The airline gave us two options. We took the option that would get us part way to our destination. It included an overnight layover before the last leg of our journey. The difficulties continued including getting lost finding our hotel and a full day delay coming home because of mechanical problems with the aircraft. Flexibility and adaptability became necessary. I won't paper over the frustration we felt, however even in the middle of being lost we found things to smile about. We found some hidden gems that our guide book did not list.  Since that trip we have become lost in many other locations, even with maps and GPS to guide us. This happens so many times we now expect to get lost at least once per trip to anywhere we have not yet been. The frustration has mostly subsided when this happens. Each time we look for the what we would otherwise have missed. Flexibility is required.

Many times in my art and writing the plans start changing as soon as I pick up a pencil (or paintbrush). I have the choice to give in to the frustration that bubbles up or embrace the change and see where it leads. I still struggle to embrace the change when I have a clear picture of where I think I want to go. With time, I am learning writing detour like travel hold treasure I would miss if I stubbornly clung to my plans. Flexibility and adaptability become necessary.

Some benefits found in writing detours are curiosities discovered while researching. I am in the middle of editing my first novel. I needed to verify some terminology but also stumbled on some unusual clauses people have included in their wills. For the curious this side trip is one of those gems. It has become part of my ideas file that I can pull from as needed. Even the act of writing the novel involved adaptation as I moved from the mindset of not being a writer to writing essays to trying something new and different. Flexibility was required.

Each piece of writing takes me on a journey through my interests and experiences. Writing helps me make connections. The need to slow down and observe the new and unexpected territory allows me to find treasure I would otherwise overlook. Now I look forward to the journey and even take some "wrong" turns on purpose so I can see where they lead me. One day I will be able to leave the frustration behind as I start looking for those gems right away.

I know the Master Map Maker and True Navigator. His word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). When I remember this fact there is no lost. There is only here and now and the lessons of this moment. Therefore I look forward to what the journey brings including the unexpected.  Flexibility is required.

May your journey be filled with the expected and unexpected treasure that comes from following God's leading.


  1. What a delightful post! I find that when I try to map everything out in too much detail, I lose some of the freshness. Just like in your travel analogy, how would we know what we're missing if we are too rigid? Thanks off this post, Lorilee.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I think you are right that the key is to exchange frustration for openness. Life would be bland if we only ever got what we expect!

  3. Thanks, Lorilee. You’ve written an inspiring blog about what can happen when we are more flexible and adaptable. You’re thinking is in line with St. Paul’s when he wrote, . . . "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. . . (for) I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. . . (Philippians 4:11-13)

  4. Wonderful post. I love how you talk about the choice to embrace the change or give in to frustration and also how our own stubbornness can get in the way. I can relate. Thank you.


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