It’s More About the Journey Than The Destination
“It’s more about the journey than the destination.” I almost shutter at my decision to start this post with such a cliche slogan, but right now in my walk of faith, that’s the phrase I need to remind myself of. Currently, I’m learning that the journey really is preparing me for the destination—and may be more important than where I’m going, altogether.
You know how sometimes on a long road trip, the experience and time in the car—the meaningful conversations, the inside jokes, the music, the scenic views—are often more memorable and important than the place you drove to? Well similarly, I believe Jesus is currently reshaping my heart and preparing my mind en route to wherever he’s taking me—so that I’m ready for everything I encounter, but also so that I get to hang out with Him, personally, and get to know Him during the journey.
Too often though, I find myself wanting to know all the details about my journey as I go, and sometimes even before I get started. Like with GPS mapping, I want to see an overview of my route, how long it will take to reach my destination, the traffic and accidents to avoid, and the fastest route possible. But God doesn’t work that way. He likes to take the scenic route with us.
I know this is true, because Scripture is filled with epic stories of people who rarely get to where they’re going in the fastest, most efficient, nonstop route. Just think about the Israelites, for crying out loud. They could have gotten to the promised land in 11 days, but instead it took them 40 YEARS of wandering! God needed to lead them the extremely long route to help clear out all the sin that was in their lives and to show them his power and provision firsthand so that they would be ready to enter and occupy the promised land.
Some other epic journeys I thought of while writing this post were:
- Noah’s 40 days and nights on the ark
- Joshua’s 7-day march around Jericho
- The journey of the 3 kings to Bethlehem
- Jesus’s 40 days in the desert
- Paul’s trip to Damascus
I know these are not typically used in the same example as that of the Israelites, but the pattern is the same. With all of these journeys, my own included, they each have a time of trial, a time of learning/growth, a time of strengthening and a time of entering their destination (or even their destiny). Granted, I don’t yet know what/where my destination is, and for a couple of these you have to use your imagination a little, but that’s what all journeys seem to include.
Currently, I’m in the season of learning and growing with God. I’ve been down several roads that have led to different types of trials and scenarios that have felt like set backs at the time. But in reality, “set back” is not part of God’s vocabulary. Everything that God allows into our lives—whether due to His plan or our own decisions—He uses to guide us, grow us, and point us to Himself. The things I’ve encountered along my journey had to happen so that I would be appropriately prepared for what’s ahead and personally drawn to the Lord.
I love what is written in 1 Peter 1:18-21 (The Message):
Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.
God bankrupted Heaven to purchase me (and you) so that we can have an intimate relationship with Him while we walk on this Earth. I know as I continue on this journey—which seems painfully winding and inefficient at times—that it will be tempting to quit, but when I place my trust in God, I see the purpose in embracing and enjoying the journey.