“The bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you miss the curve.”
No, I didn’t come up with that quote. I’m “borrowing” it from my friend, Rev. Louie Boykin. Now, whether he “borrowed” the line from someone else, I don’t know. But, it’s a great statement about life and it’s an important point we all need to realize.
A few years ago, I attended a revival Louie was preaching at Union Star
Original FWB Church here in Clinton. His statement about the “bend in the road” spoke to me as I was in one of those “bends” in my personal life.
We all face bends, or changes, in the road we travel on in life. These bends may be due to health, relationship, job or financial issues, or other events that may occur. And sometimes these issues and events appear to be more like dead-man’s curve than just a bend in the road.
With the financial and housing crisis of the past few years, thousands of Americans have been confronted with a major bend in their road – unemployment and job change. And even with signs that maybe the economy is slowly improving, the unemployment data is still disturbing, and many people are seeking work.
But, then again, Americans are constantly seeking new employment, whether by choice or necessity. Financial guru, Dave Ramsey states in his Financial Peace University course that the average job is now only 2.1 years in length. This means the average worker could have as many as 20 different jobs in his or her lifetime. Ramsey points out that the concept of working for one employer your whole career is now the exception, not the rule, and we shouldn’t expect to do so. And that those who do work primarily with one employer during their career should expect several job changes and transitions while with that employer.
I fit in that later category. While working with one employer, the N.C. Dept. of Revenue, for almost 30 years, my work career went through several changes. During that time, I worked in offices in three different cities, maintained territories in several different counties, had several different job positions and constantly changing job descriptions and duties.
Probably, the most stressful “bends” in my work career were when, as office manager, two of those revenue offices, Laurinburg and Clinton, were closed due to consolidation. I apologize. I forgot that you are not to use the word “consolidation” here in Sampson County. It might upset some people, especially those in the local government and school systems.
For me, relocating and regrouping after office closure, while uncertain and stressful, didn’t involve job loss. Job loss, financial setbacks, health problems, relationship issues, etc., are all changes where we need to be reminded that “the end of the road is not the end of the road, unless you miss the curve.”
How can we miss the curve? One way is by ignoring the curve or realizing you’re in a curve too late. How many accidents could be avoided by paying attention to the road ahead and reacting properly? That 35 mile per hour curve sign is there for a reason. In our lives there are always going to be curves. You have a nagging cough. You might need to go to the doctor and check it out. You hear about a slowdown in sales and other signs of problems in the company you work for. It might be time to update that resume. Looks like there’s a curve coming and you need to get ready.
A second way to miss the curve is to overreact. One of the first lessons drivers should learn is, if you run off the road, don’t overcorrect and jerk the car back on the highway. This will cause you to lose control of the vehicle. I learned that lesson after flipping over my parent’s car three times when I was sixteen years old. Many people also overreact when they hit the bend in the road in their personal lives. They may overcorrect by panicking, turning to drugs or alcohol, becoming an emotional wreck or in other ways which end up making a tough situation even worse.
So, keep it between the ditches and realize, as Louie said that night, “The bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you miss the curve.”