Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Few things are more difficult than driving a long distance with small children. You pack the car, it’s a hot day, and you dread the long journey ahead. You instinctively know the kids will be restless. No matter how many activity books, games and DVDs you bring, you still hear the steady drone of, Are we there yet? How do you respond to that?
- The irritated response: We’re closer now than the last time you asked.
- The threatening response: If you keep asking when we’re going to get there I’m gonna turn around and go home!
- The sneaky response: Let’s play a game and see how long we can go without asking if we’re there yet.
No matter how you respond, on long trips, kids seem focused on the final destination.
Two Types of People
So I’m told there are two types of people: the journey or the destination types. The journey types of people enjoy the planning of the trip, they enjoy the driving, and they enjoy taking in the sites and all the side trips. They are enjoying the journey while on their way to their destination.
The destination types do not enjoy the journey—they are all about getting to their destination. They are in a hurry to get to their destination so the fun can begin rather than taking their time and enjoying the ride. Sometimes being a destination person is a necessity but if you rushed all the time you could miss things along the way.
Now in some ways, it’s not a bad thing to be a destination type, because at least you have a destination. Without a clear destination, a journey lacks focus; it lacks any way to measure progress forward because you don’t know what the way forward is.
The Bible pictures the Christian life of following Jesus Christ as being like a journey. In fact, when you think about it, we are all on a journey—whether you are a person who takes their time to enjoy the ride or a person who just wants to get there. The fact is we are all on this journey called life.
Expect Surprises on your Christian Journey
As Christians our journey is a bit different, we have been called to follow Jesus just like those from long ago. When we think we have gotten to our destination, whoosh, change hits us, we hear a whisper or feel a nudge that we are being called to do something else, to change our lives in some way where God would like us to go.
Our journey did not end at our baptism, or at our confirmation, or even after our kids are no longer in Sunday School. These points of our lives weren’t an ending destination—they were the beginning. We are called to listen for the voice of God and to follow. It is not easy work, but what a journey it could be if we just took our time to stop and listen, so we don’t miss anything! We have not yet arrived.
We have not yet arrived to our final destination.
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And so it is and so we must learn not to become so obsessed with the destination that we fail to enjoy and embrace the journey. Joel Osteen in his book Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential says:
That’s why it is important to enjoy the journey not just the destination. In this world, we will never arrive at a place where everything is perfect, and we have no more challenges. As admirable as setting goals and reaching them maybe, you can’t get so focused on accomplishing the goals that you make the mistake of not enjoying where you are right now.
How often do we get focused on the destination and forget to pay attention to the journey? We’re anxious to grow up, graduate from school, get that next job, get married, start a family, for our children to grow up, for the next step in our calling. But, maybe the journey’s just as important as the destination. Maybe it’s even more important? Enjoying where you are on the way to where you are going.
(To be continued in Enjoy the Journey – Part 2)