I wasn’t a math whiz in school, but somewhere in a geometry (or maybe it was algebra) class, we learned that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But is it really? And does that theorem apply in real life?
Friends, the destination is not the goal. The JOURNEY…is…the destination.
Oftentimes, we race right past the best things in life, hurrying to the next “point B” or next pitstop.
Today more than ever, circumstances and situations have derailed and sidetracked our friends and family. Even us. We work two jobs to keep up with the neighbors or just to take care of our families. We give up our time to things in an attempt to fill the emptiness or to maintain that busyness. And we often have a contorted sense of priorities, giving time to things that don’t really make an eternal difference.
We’re taught to keep pressing on, to attain, to “get there” or that we’ll know when we “arrive”. There is supposed to be some grand satisfaction to reaching the goal, a finish line that is celebrated as the end-all and only-all. And, while goal-setting and reaching those goals are good to a certain degree and keeps us moving forward, we often forget to enjoy the scenery and the moments along the way.
Unfortunately, life’s journey is not always a straight line. The trip is not always the shortest distance between two points. Often, there are detours, or life demands that we take another course. In fact, the curves, the dips, the switchbacks, the ups and the downs along the way actually paint your life with color. The pauses or even roadside stops along the journey leave those God moments indelibly varnished and sealed on your heart.
Yes, God causes — or allows — those flat tires along life’s journey, sometimes in an effort to catch our attention or to build our character. He lets us get lost along the way, then shows us something we’ve never seen — or at least never noticed — before. And it changes us. Sometimes it alters our journey even. Or maybe it just causes a change in perspective or viewpoint.
God speaks when we take those seemingly side jaunts or when we pause along the journey.
Remember Moses and the burning bush? Moses was on a journey, but saw a bush that was burning, yet not consumed. He could have kept plodding along, pressing on toward the goal. He had people to lead, people who were depending on him to get them to their destination. He could simply have seen that amazing burning bush, thought it was odd, and kept going. He had a call of God, right? He was on a time schedule, yeah? He was just following a straight line, correct?
But his heart told him to stop and take note: “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”
And then — and only then — God spoke: “When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him…”
Whoa! “Something” or “Someone” put it on Moses’ heart and he sensed, felt led, was impressed — however you want to call it — that something important was happening. Then, and only then, when He had Moses attention in a pause, God spoke, God moved, God changed. Think about that!
How many burning bushes have we passed because we were so determined to get to Point B? How many Good Samaritan opportunities to be a blessing have we missed because we had a meeting, somewhere “important” to get to, or even church service to get to? How often have we missed the still, small voice over time constraints?
Those are the snapshots that usually turn into God moments. Those are the opportunities God will use us to be a blessing. Those are the unexpected, seemingly coincidental occasions that God turns into life-changing interludes in an otherwise mundane journey.
The destination is not the goal. The journey…is…the destination!
Smell the roses. Take a detour from time to time. Learn that it’s okay to stop or pause. I am. Don’t worry about Point B. Enjoy the ride! Today.