Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Purpose in the Journey

           There are few circumstances in life where the personality of my wife and I are in more direct contrast than when it comes to how we handle road trips. 

           On my perfect road trip there are several 2 minute stops where it's a race to see how fast you can get gas and buy snacks that results in a frenzy that would make a NASCAR pit crew jealous.  

            In my wife's perfect trip we stop every so often for sit-down meals and sometimes we stop  just because. 

             In my perfect road trip I do whatever possibly allows me to pass the time the fastest whether it be entering into a comatose status of sleep or plunging my mind into some kind of entertainment venue. 

              My wife wants to look at every mountain and take in every second of the scenery as we drive by. 

           You might be wondering "Cool Dustin, why are you sharing this?" (If you weren't play along, it helps my ego). The reason I share this is that I think it highlights a very real tension that we all face in life. 

          This tension that I'm speaking of is the age old question of what is more important the destination or the journey?

          Though in the context a road trip the way you answer this question may not lead to any significant implications it certainly does have massive implications when applied to our life. Is life all about the destination? Your dream job in your dream house with your dream family riding in your dream car, or is life more about the path you take while getting to your destination. 

          As I have been dwelling on this question in my own heart I have come to the conclusion that while the destination is important there is purpose in the journey. In the Bible I see two shining examples of why there is purpose in the journey. 

          The first is the life of Jesus. In theory Jesus could have lived 33 years in relative obscurity before dying for our sins but He didn't. He chose to travel around Israel and Judea and Samaria before heading back to His destination, Jerusalem.

          In His journey through these regions lives were healed, communities were mended and relationships were created. Yes, His destination had eternal purpose but so did His journey. 

It is my fear that in placing too much importance on the destinations of our lives that we miss the beauty and opportunities that are afforded us on the journey. In our hurry to get to the next thing how often do we miss what is right in front of us. 

           The Second example is the concept of Sanctification. For those of you that don't carry around a fancy theological dictionary with you while reading blogs, that is just a fancy way of saying "the process upon which we become more like God." 

           Allow me to explain what I mean by this. The moment we are saved couldn't it be possible that God could snap His fingers and turn us into Christ in a second. In a split second we could go from wrong to right. Anyone who has been a christian longer than 20 seconds can tell you this isn't what happens though. In His sovereignty God allows us with the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit to struggle through becoming more like Him. What could He could do in a second He allows us to work alongside Him for a lifetime to accomplish. Why?

 I believe God allows this because it is the intimacy that is born through the journey that makes the destination worth it. 

            Though my head is drawn to believing that it is only the destination that matters experience has taught me that what happens on the journey makes the destination worthwhile.  

            There is purpose in where you are at in your journey, whether that be mile 1 or 100. It is in these trying times on your way to your destination that you have the opportunity to make meaningful relationships that change lives and communities. It is also in these times that the intimacy created with God and others makes your destination worth it.  For if we gain all of our destinations but have no one meaningful beside us have we gained much at all.

May we delight in our journeys as fervently as we pursue our destinations.

- Dustin Wells