The Wrong Route

Last week, I was by my friend’s home in Blantyre, and I had to return home on a Wednesday morning. Dad was also in Blantyre and he said he would come by and pick me up early in the morning. So I got ready and waited for him to pick me up. Within minutes, we were on our way back to Zomba.As we were turning Pa Kudya to get to Limbe, I told him that I learnt of a route that would take us there faster. It was a newly constructed road that I learnt of in my short stay there. I told him it would take us close to five minutes to get to Limbe Market and that we would pass by a certain technical college. He agreed and we continued our journey, as we commented on the amount of humps along the road.

I got my phone from my lap and was busy replying to some good morning texts that I got carried away. When we got to the ‘get to Limbe within five minutes’ turn, I looked up and dad showed no signs of slowing down.

“This is the turn, dad!” I said.

“Nah. I think it’s still up the road,” he said.

“Are you sure? We used that route last time.”

Dad, in his most chilled voice said, “no, I remember this place. We pass a primary school first. The road you’re talking about is dusty and too bumpy.”

Okaaaay. Maybe I had it wrong this whole time, then. I continued to text half-attentionally as we chatted away about land, my stay in Blantyre, et cetera. We came across some beautiful houses being built on the side of the road. He told me about the Soche Hill and how it used to have very few houses, but with population growth, more and more people started building up the hill. It sounded like he really knew this area and he was sure of the direction we were taking. We came to the primary school he mentioned and kept going. He mentioned that we would use a road just before Angelo Goveya (Angels Go There, y’all know how us Malawians Chichewalise English words) but it wouldn’t take long to get to Limbe.

So we kept goiiiiing. I had to ask him if he was sure this was the route he was talking about.

“I think the turn is anywhere from here,” he said.

I tried again.
“Dad, I don’t remember reaching this
far when we used that route. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but this is taking longer than usual.”

“Wait, what did you say you pass by, when you use that route?”

“Soche Technical College. There’s a little valley somewhere in between. They are improving the road, it is tarred now. It’s a really short….”

“Ooooooh. I know what you mean now! I’m so sorry. I understand you. I knew that route but it was so bad, so I thought you meant one further from that turn. That one is bad too, but better. I’m so sorry, Faith.”

Honestly, I was a little annoyed. I felt like he didn’t even want to hear me out because he thought I didn’t know what I was talking about. The route we took was taking toooooo long and I was getting impatient.

“We would have arrived by now, you know,” I displayed my annoyance.

“Yeah I know. I didn’t get you the first time,” he said.

We reached a little trading centre, kids running around, men and women walking all over the road and not responding to dad’s hooting. He slowed down and rolled down the window and talked to the first man he saw.

“Amwene,khala ngati tasochela. Njila yaku Limbe ndi iti?” (My guy, I think we are lost. Which way goes to Limbe?)

The man pointed down the road.

“Take the left turn, where you see those minibuses parked, and keep going.”

“Thank you,” dad said.

“I’ve missed the turn I was talking about somewhere.”

The road this man pointed was bumpy and longer, very unpleasant compared to the one I suggested but we filled it with discussions about my dissertation and the progress I have made, and we talked about a few other things. Finally, we could see minibuses at the Limbe market and we had reached our ‘destination’, many minutes late. All the while, I was fighting the urge to blurt out “I TOLD YOU SO, DAD! YOU THOUGHT I DIDN’T KNOW THIS CITY, HUH? WELL I DO! AND YOU GOT IT WRONG!” lol, you know how rare that opportunity is; but he didn’t make it easy. For one, he had apologised for it. I admired that a lot. I know it takes a lot for an older person to apologise to someone younger than them, let alone a PARENT apologising to their CHILD. Bless his heart, this man always impresses me.

There was a silence as we queued behindslow minibuses to get to the main road.

“You know what, I have learnt not to question these things,” he started, “I know God allowed me not to understand you the first time around for a reason, and in my life, I have learnt to ignore
the urge to ask “Why, Lord?” and to accept things as they are.”

“Yeah,” I agreed.

“You never know, maybe there was an
accident the devil set for us that God was preventing us from,” he continued.

“Yeah, you are right, dad,” I said, “Maybe around the technical college, we would have been involved in an accident.”

“Yes, but I mean, even on the road to Zomba, there might have been an accident, or something unfortunate waiting for us, a trap the devil laid, and God just allowed us to delay here to protect
us. In my life, I have learnt not to ask “Why” and accept things as God’s plan that I may not know about.”

I agreed. But I felt so ashamed of myself inside. What he said hit me so hard. Dad is really not one to ask “why?”or to try to look back to see what could have been done, where things could have improved or where exactly things went wrong. He just takes it all in and moves forward with life. Some things that have happened in his life, I don’t thinkI would have handled them the way he did. I hardly see my father worried or complaining. He is always positive and letting things beyond his control be.

Me, on the other hand, I am a control freak. I want things done this way at such and such a time. My close friends know how disturbed I get when things don’t go according to MY plan. It’s almost like I have a script made at the start of my day and expect the whole universe to go by it so things go well for me that day. I am ashamed to say, when some things happened to me in my life, I rushed and asked God, “WHY??”

This really changed my perception on a lot of things. On the road home, I looked at dad for a second and actually admired him and the way he leads his life, so worry-free! There he was, humming along to some South African gospel songs. I smiled and sincerely thanked God for letting this man be my father. I have learnt a lot from him. I am learning to let things beyond my control go, and to let God take control and do however he pleases. I know he is watching over me and making sure I am okay, and I thank him for that wrong route we took. I have taken so many wrong routes in my life, myself! And I would question it, and worry if I would even reach my destination.

Well, Dad and I arrived home very safely, and I would like to think that is how God intends to lead my life, too.

– Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Train your mind to see the good in everything.

The Christian has not one worry in the world. They should be the most freest, happiest people in all the world. ‘Cause there’s nothing… You can’t lose. And all things work together for good to them that love God. So how can we lose? There’s just nothing to lose, is there? We’re just anchored away in Jesus Christ, going home to glory, having a good time while we’re going along, God providing everything for us. Marvelous.- William Marrion Branham, 54-0301 The Angel Of The Covenant

You will get there when you are meant to get there and not one moment sooner. So relax, breathe, and be patient.

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