Stop, Stop, No Outlet

Do you ever feel like you're at this spot in the road? Stop signs in two directions and a "no outlet" sign in another? The only way to move seems to be to go back the way you came?

In actuality and literally, in the case of this picture, the road backwards from these stopsigns and dead end goes through a rather yucky area of phosphorous mining. The only way out was to get on the ferry and go across the sound to the other side, where the road is pleasant and heads for home. Which we happily did.

I've been in this place many times. (I mean physically, metaphorically, and especially while talking.) Partly this is because I am a digresser. I'm just going along and then decide to peel off onto a side road and just tool along to see where I end up. Sometimes this works out where I reconnect with a main road and sometimes it ends up with a bunch of dead end signs. I'm not always cautious enough to stick with the main road; I'm sometimes craving a digression, a short-cut or a scenic byway, an adventure. Sometimes I'm surprised when I come upon the end of the road, and sometimes I correctly interpret the hints along the way that the end is coming soon.

Sometimes I imagine that God is the one who drops these signs onto the road, to keep me from plunging headlong into the muck. Other times I wonder if the world is out to block me from going where I want to go. So I can come upon these signs with relief that someone is watching over me, or I can come upon them in great frustration and anger.

Over these last months, I've often felt as if I were in this place. I don't think I want to retrace my steps backwards. I've wondered what road goes in some other direction, but I have been a little afraid to try to explore other directions. What if there are just going to be more roadblocks? What if I don't have what it takes to boldly go down a new road? What if I discover there is a ferry, but I have already missed it? And is this a case of God sending me the signs, or is it something human?

But more and more I feel the need to move on. I'm looking to see if there is a map, or if I must blaze my own trail.