Follow the Directions


At some time in our lives, most of us have come to a fork in the road and needed to decide what direction we should take. If only we had a GPS to guide us, or even an old-fashioned Road Atlas or one of those maps we could buy at the local service station, we would have been better prepared. Even MapQuest will do in a pinch. We stand at that fork, scratching our heads, looking in complete confusion as we decide which road to take. Both roads will get us to the same place in due time, only one will take a lot longer and have more detours, but we don’t know that until we begin that journey.

Finally, with traffic stacking up behind us, we have to choose. Maybe, but not always, the journey would have been easier if we had taken the time to read the directions and pack the right tools before we left. Don’t get me started on trying to put things together without first reading the instructions included with the project. We might give it a cursory glance and figure we’re smart enough to figure out what screws go where, what pieces should be at the beginning until we get halfway through said project, and then look for the directions we filed in the recycle can. But, again, I can speak from experience.  

While walking through Lowe’s, searching for a wheelbarrow, I made my choice and then asked a kindly salesperson for help in getting it loaded into my SUV. He started for a box holding said wheelbarrow. I stopped him.  

“I want the one already put together.”

“Mam, the ones you’ve looked at are for display.” 

I really didn’t want him to know how inept I was at such things. After all, I was a capable person, most of the time.

Giving him my most winning smile, I replied, “I would really rather have one already put together.”

“Well, we can put it together for you, but that will cost an additional $15”         

My ego was at stake. Maybe I could do this. “Okay, let’s get the car. So I drove away with my ego intact, a wheelbarrow in a box, where it sits in the garage, where it has remained for the last three years. Every so often, I go out, look at the box and think of all the wonderful things I could get done in my yard if only I had that wheelbarrow put together. I sigh and tell myself that I’ll put the thing together one of these days, and then I will do great wonders.

Our lives are like that at times. We’re afraid to follow the directions the Universe has given us. We don’t want detours, water over the highway signs, yield, or stop signs. We want it already put together and ready to go. It rarely works out that way, and when it does, I’m acutely aware of how wrong things can go because I haven’t followed the directions provided to me; if only I would take the time to read them. 

 We’re given directions for a reason, ones we may not understand at the time, but they are meant for the highest good. It’s our job to look for the directions in our lives and follow them to the best of our ability. When we choose to go through the stop sign, run the red lights, and generally make a mess of our lives, it’s time to go to a Rest Stop. 

It’s time to unpack the directions, read them thoroughly, and begin the next phase of our journey. Maybe I’ll open that box, get the wheelbarrow out, and read the directions.

Photo by Athena:/

BarbaraTubbs Hill

Barbara Tubbs Hill

Writer, counselor, perennial student and seeker of truth and spirit is an apt description for Barbara. Currently, Barbara is working on her first novel with two more planned for the future. Her first book, “Let’s Talk, What You Don’t Know About Credit Can Hurt You,” was written after fifteen years in a career than spanned collections, credit and mortgage lending. Barbara is glad to have been a part of getting the Indian Mound in Florence listed on the Alabama State Historical Register and soon the National Historical Registry. She lives in Florence AL with her husband Johnnie and two precious rescue dogs; Snookies and Daisy.

Barbara Hill / / 256-710-9713


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