The Gustavian Weekly

Bumps in the Road | The Gustavian Weekly

By Colin Rieke Opinion Columnist | March 13, 2015 | Opinion

The road of life can be a bumpy one, but you never have to proceed down it alone.

The road of life can be a bumpy one, but you never have to proceed down it alone.

If you have spent any of time driving you know there are some bumpy roads out there. You might also be aware of the detours we are forced to take from time to time. Road conditions are rarely perfect.

Things happen on the road that can make driving difficult, even unenjoyable. This is true in life as well. Even though there can be plenty of smooth sailing, we all eventually hit a bump in the road, then another one soon after. Life is never perfect, so maybe we shouldn’t expect it to be.

When we hit that bump, whether it be a failed test, a break-up, a death in the family, or even just a feeling of prolonged sadness, there are a couple of things we need to realize.

First, the only way we can proceed down the road of life is if we get over the bumps. If we had the power to avoid all obstacles in life, we would, but we can’t. It might be tough, but the first thing you must do when you hit a bump is to accept it. Since you can’t avoid them you may as well not try to deny them.

The next thing we must do after accepting that bump is to proceed down the road both humbly and confidently. So how can we willingly accept bumps in the road? How can we be okay with bad things happening to us?

Part of the reason we have trouble wrapping our heads around why bad things happen to us is because we think we are in charge of our lives. We think we are in control, and to a certain extent we are. However, a freak accident can also wipe us off of this planet in the blink of an eye. One can’t control your life in that way.

If we had the power to avoid all obstacles in life, we would, but we can’t. It might be tough, but the first thing you must do when you hit a bump is to accept it.

Though I know someone partially in charge of your life in that way though. You might know Him too, his name is God.

God has a plan for each and every one of us. The fact that God has a plan, the best plan, can be a tough pill to swallow. Why? Because He might allow bad things to happen to us or to our loved ones. This is where some people turn away from God. They say, “How could the all-powerful God who is supposed to love me let these bad things happen to me? If he really loves me he wouldn’t let that happen.”

God has a plan for each and every one of us. The fact that God has a plan, the best plan, can be a tough pill to swallow.

Here’s the thing: God loves us and if He thinks you could benefit from a bump in the road, He might purposefully put one there to test you. This doesn’t mean He puts every bump in the road. This is undoubtedly a tricky topic to fully explain in one small article, but we need to keep an open mind to the possibility that God is the one who put that bump in the road. We also need to keep in mind that we can always rely on Him as a way to deal with any bump.

There is no bump that God doesn’t want to help you get over.

If God does purposefully place obstacles in our life, He probably has some good reason for doing so. One reason might be to remind us that we are human and He is God. Another might be that He wants us to turn to Him, so that he can help us. Times of trouble offer chances to grow closer to Him, to love Him, and to trust Him. That just sounds like good parenting to me.

We might be less likely to turn to God if nothing ever went wrong in life. Think of it this way, does a parent really love you if they never challenge you? Is a parent really doing you a favor if they do all of your math homework for you?

Some of the best parents are the ones that challenge their children – in the right manner, of course. A loving parent is someone who helps their child with math homework, instead of doing it for them, so that when it comes time for the math test, their child can pass the test on their own. And just as a loving parent always has their child’s best interests in mind, so does God, so does our Father, for us.

In response to those who might challenge whether God creates bumps on the road out of love, there are two things that need to be said. First, whether God loves us should not even be a question, just as whether we are loved by our parents should never be a question. Second, not every bump in the road is placed there by God. Though it is possible that the bump you might be going over was designed by God out of love.

Life is never perfect, so maybe we shouldn’t expect it to be.

If you view bumps that pop up along the road in this way, then going over those bumps and proceeding down the road of life might be a little easier. Yes, it can be tough. But you don’t have to travel down the road on your own.

So next time you hit a bump in the road consider whether Someone might have put it there. Regardless if the answer is yes or no, these obstacles will always be an opportunity to get to know a family member, your Father, a little better.

-Colin Rieke