Moses' life was shaped by his detour to Midian.
How time flies. Moses’ sojourn in Midian, 40 years summarized by “during that long period” (2:23), was the mold that shaped Moses for the next chapter of his life. D.L. Moody once wrote that in Moses’ first 40 years he thought he was really somebody; in the second 40 years he learned he was a nobody; in the last 40 years Moses learned what God can do with a nobody.
So what happened in Midian? We are left to imagine and deduce. No doubt, Moses replayed his whole life in his head countless times. He rehearsed what he might have done differently. It's easy to imagine a lot of second-guessing the killing of the Egyptian guard. There was anguish over the suffering of his people, and homesickness for both his mothers. There was wondering about the God of the Hebrews and, of course, lots of care for the sheep of his father-in-law.
For. Forty. Years.
After 4 months of semi-quarantine, 40 years looks a little different.
I'm sure that to Moses, his years in Midian were a continual reminder of his failures, a major and permanent detour from the life he thought was going to be his.
It's remarkable that in God's way of doing things, so often it is times of detour that are exactly what is needed. In the account of Moses and the burning bush, Moses sees the bush and says to himself, "I will turn aside to see this strange sight." (Exodus 3:3) The Hebrew verb here, sur, means to steer off the main way, to take a detour - another detour amidst the major detour his life had become. When Moses takes it, everything changes.
What detour has your life taken? Can you begin to see God's hand in it? Ask him to show you.