Enjoying the Journey
We are in the midst of planning our annual family vacation. Some of my fondest childhood memories surround family trips. There is a certain adventure to it all! My wife and children love to travel and it has made for wonderful times together. Sometimes the road trip is as much fun as the destination!
Several years ago I began writing on this blog. At the time I chose “Enjoying the Journey” as the title. I want to enjoy the journey with Jesus and those that He has chosen for me to share the journey with. Along the journey there are certain things that you grow accustomed to watching for.
- Along the journey there are yield signs. To ignore a “yield” sign is to do so at your own peril. Throughout life there will be many moments when God asks you to yield – and to do so gladly. At these moments He is merging something into your life that is necessary for the journey to flow smoothly.
- Along the journey there are stop signs. Sometimes God puts up a “stop” sign, a definite and divine command to wait. Those of us who like to get to our destination have a hard time with these delays! Yet the Lord is moving when we are not. He is at work. George Muller once commented on Psalm 37:23, “‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord’ – and so are the stops!” Thank God for every road block of mercy and trust that He knows best.
- Along the journey there are detours. Some of these are of God and some are not. When detours approach it is always wise to pull off and check the map. Is this going to take me to the same destination? If I follow this route, where will I be? Satan’s detours take you farther away from the right way and rob you of God’s best. When the Lord leads down a detour it is always to bring us back on the path with some good thing He desires to give us.
- Along the journey there are rest areas. Jesus said to His disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart…and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). In my youth I wanted to see how quickly I could get to my destination. But, how many beautiful places and experiences are missed this way! Sometimes God gives a wide place in the road to stop and refresh yourself. You can’t live there but you can’t live without them either. Learn to rest and renew. The journey is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Along the journey there are speed limits (and policemen to help you remember!). No illustrations here. Too many bitter memories. The truth is that we often race through life at such a pace we are rushing right past the Lord and others He desires for us to minister to. Slow down and “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). This literally means to stay in step with the Spirit. Don’t get ahead of Him and don’t get behind Him. A precious friend, Dr. Johnny Pope, reminded me this week in a text that “we are encouraged to walk by faith, not run. Running brings the connotation of hurry and make it happen, whereas walking speaks to us of a calmness that trusts God to make it happen.” Amen!
- Along the journey there are cross roads. On every trip there are decisions to be made. As many of them as can be made in advance is good. This brings a certainty to our direction. Inevitably we will face intersections, decisions about which way to go. At that moment we must especially live by faith. Ask God for wisdom and believe that He will never lead you the wrong way.
There are many other things found along the journey. Not all of the twists and turns are enjoyable. The greatest part of the journey is companionship and we could have no better Companion than the Spirit of God, “Christ in you,” the One who promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
Someday soon I will trade my road trip for a flight. Jesus will come and I will be “caught up…to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). I hope you are planning to take that trip with me. Until we take that final flight, we must make the most of every mile marker along life’s road. Keep enjoying the journey…and look for Him along the way!