I had an epiphany this morning. (I love the word epiphany – it is clearly a $5 word). I am an inherently impatient person. I’m the guy that when he plans a vacation would almost always prefer to fly – I just want to get there. I fail to enjoy or embrace the journey when I drive. That mindset carries over to other aspects of my life as well. If I sense that God is calling me to a new place I just want to be there. But this is simply not the way that He operates.
There is no final destination (“there”), at least while we’re here on Earth because God is never through with us. Unlike a vacation destination, we are never able to truly arrive to where God is leading us. As soon as we think we’re approaching our “there”, we realize that He has moved our target further down the road.
But it’s really more than just about an ever-changing destination. I can get so focused on a goal that I can be blind to God’s influence around me in the meantime. A typical conversation between God and I looks something like this.
God: Jerry I want you to leave where you are and go in this direction
Jerry: Okay God, I’m on it. Heading “there” now.
Imagine some time passing, me forging through life with my head down focused on the goal…
Jerry: Uhmm, God, am I ever going to get “there”?
God: Define “there”
Jerry: Where you told me to head, you know… “there”
God: Silly man, yesterday’s “there” is now today’s “here”. Stay faithful and keep going in the direction I told you.
The point of this dialogue is this. We may envision a “there” in our lives or in our marriages, but as long as we’re breathing, God is not done with us yet. It is important for us to not be so focused on an ultimate goal – as if we’ll meet God there. We must realize that God is present with us every step of the journey. He is bringing things into our lives that clearly shape our present and continue to direct our future. It’s easy to miss these if we’re not taking the time to encounter God along the way. Practically speaking, how many times are we looking for a specific answered prayer only to miss the variety of answers God is providing all around us?
My goal is to stop living for a future state, but to enjoy each and every day as God provides it. It doesn’t mean that I’m abandoning the vision that He has created for me, but it does mean that I will attempt to recognize His answers to me all along the journey.